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Best of Africa comes to Saginaw with its 51st African Cultural Festival this weekend

Best of Africa comes to Saginaw with its 51st African Cultural Festival this weekend

SAGINAW,MI — The Saginaw African Cultural Festival is bringing the best of Africa in music and food to Saginaw Aug. 9 to 11. The event features several learning opportunities and chances to enjoy African fine arts. Live performances are running over the weekend along with an open mic night, drum circle, meditating workshop and step show. The festival is the longest-running black cultural festival in the country, according to its organizers, and features activities for all ages. Entertainment coordinator for the event Carla Barton said many people aren’t aware of what an important event the cultural festival is, and urged them to come see it for themselves. “People don’t know that, because it’s a small, little town,” Barton said. “It’s like a big family reunion, people commuting, people who haven’t seen each other in a long time, great food, activities. …Everyone should come out and enjoy yourself.” Live performances include gospel singer Sharie Williams, jazz and African musical performances. There will be stilt walkers, an African fashion show and youth talent show, with an opportunity to play African drums A schedule of events can be seen here . This is the 51st year of the festival at 2601 Lapeer St. in Saginaw, with a push to move to a more popular area, according to Saginaw African Cultural Festival President Dawn Hinton. She said for years the originators of the festival, Saginaw natives, have blessed the grounds so there’s a certain importance to holding the event in the area. Youth coming to the event don’t have to travel far to learn about African heritage in an interactive way and others in the area can consistently be a part of an event in their community that celebrates them, Hinton said. “People have asked us to move it from here because it’s on the east side,” Hinton said. “One of the ideas is that we’re connected to the community. These are folks that literally walked over from their homes.”

Best of Africa comes to Saginaw with its 51st African Cultural Festival this weekend

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