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North Alabama kicks off annual African Heritage Festival

Tuscumbia is gearing up to celebrate the city’s 22nd annual African Heritage Festival. The event runs from June 2nd-3rd. It will take place at the Willie Green Recreation Center. Admission is free. The festivities kick off on Friday at 4 p.m., and Saturday’s festivities begin at 10 a.m.

The annual event is put on by the North Alabama African Heritage Association. It highlights art, fashion, culture, food, different genres of music and crafts for all to enjoy.

Wallace Ricks, the president of the North Alabama African Heritage Association said the festival has become an integral part of the community.

“The first of the year comes around to January we started getting phone calls about the Festival in June.” Ricks said people in the community look forward to this festival. “‘Are y’all still going to have that festival?’ ‘Y’all going to do this?’ ‘Who are y’all getting to come in this time?’ and stuff like that you know so people can they expect it isn't tradition.”

The event has been happening since 1995 and according to Ricks, has been steadily rising in popularity since then. Ricks explained the feeling of familiarity the festival provides is what brings people back.

“It’s just like a big family reunion. You have a good time and sit back and listen to good music. Got good food that we gather from jerk chicken and strip and all that type of stuff.” Ricks said.

Ricks said the festival is designed to allow people enjoy themselves and learn more about Black Heritage. He noted that the festival’s motto is “educate, enlighten, and entertain”.

Ricks mentioned the importance of young people knowing more about their heritage but also enjoy the community aspect of the festival.

“And that's all we're doing is putting on a good time for people where they can relax and you know, go with the flow. Make the life go better.”

More information on the annual Alabama African Heritage Festival here:

Alex Pfenenger is a student intern in the Alabama Public Radio newsroom. He is a senior at the University of Alabama studying Creative Media. He has a passion for creating audio content, which lead him to podcasting and radio work. In his free time, Alex enjoys watching sports, listening to music, and serving at the local church.
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