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African-American Culture & Heritage Festival begins

The 21st annual Jefferson County African-American Culture & Heritage Festival began Friday in Charlestown
JEFFERSON COUNTY, W Va.-- Residents and public officials are gathering for a weekend of festivities and history, all to honor African-American heritage in Jefferson County for the 21st annual Jefferson County African-American Culture & Heritage Festival by the Martin Delany Opportunity Learning Center.

"We got a nice hoops session in, playing basketball, and we had good weather," said Michael Bratton, a Jefferson County resident.  "I like being around the nice community at the African-American Heritage Festival. It was fun I liked it."

"I think it is a big honor for kids like us to come out here to play basketball and be with your friends," said Elijah Viands, a Jefferson County resident. "Today was a nice day to play basketball you know instead of sitting home."

The culture & heritage festival also includes a job fair at Masonic Hall, plus music, educational exhibits, and children activities all through out the weekend.

"It gives a chance to educate, not only within our cultural environment but also for the entire community," said Warren Stewart of Jefferson County NAACP. "We have visitors from the tri-state area. We have some that come as far as Ohio, basically it comes down to educating each other "

This year's festival is honoring the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Washington DC march, along with the 150th anniversaries of the State of West Virginia and the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.

"The Emancipation Proclamation, that was freeing of the slaves, but i think that helped us move forward as a society," said Stewart. "I think it was a positive thing for all of us to be proud of."

Officials say more than 5,000 people are expected to attend the festival this weekend, ending with events on Sunday in Harpers Ferry.  

21th ANNUAL AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURE & HERITAGE FESTIVAL                                  

August 16-18, 2013                                                         

WEEKEND SCHEDULE  

Fri 8/16

Activity                                        Time          Location

3 on 3 basketball tournament           12 noon      Festival ground

Job Fair                                        2pm-5pm    Masonic Hall

Youth Block party                           7 - 10pm    Festival ground     

Sat. 8/17

Activity                                                  Time               Location

Health Fair - Healtpact Inc.                        10am - 2pm   Star Lodge hall

U.S.Marine Corps Humvee's presentation       1:30-5pm      Festival ground

Vendors                                                  11am - until   Festival ground

Parade kickoff                                          12 noon        CT & Ranson

Opening Ceremony                                    2:00pm         Martin Robison Delany

Historical Landmark & Bricks Dedication         2:00-2:15pm  Star Lodge hall

Youth Moonbounce                                   2-5pm           Festival ground

Youth Pony Ride                                       2-5pm           school playground

Jeff. Co. Black History Exhibition                  2-6pm           Fisherman Hall

Marching Band Demonstrations                    2:15-3pm      Festival ground street, in front of festival ground

Karl Miller Gospel Revue                             3:00-4 pm      Martin Robison Delany

Off The Block Band  Hagerstown, MD           4:15-6pm       Martin Robison Delany

Local entertainment/programmed music        6:00-7pm       Martin Robison Delany

Brothers plus 1 band                                 7:00-9pm       Martin Robison Delany

Hourly door prize drawing - free                  3pm to 9pm    Martin Robison Delany

In case of rain, all stage activity will take place at the Betty Roper Auditorium        

Sun 8/18

Activity                             Time       Location

Walk to John Brown fort site  8am        Murphy Farm Harpers Ferry

Eccumenial memorial service  10am      Curtis Freewill Bpt. Church Harpers Ferry

For  information call Warren Stewart, chairman @304- 229-7248 or George Rutherford @304-725-9610  or jcwvnaacp.org

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