African-American Festival Held in Warren

AFRICAN AMERICAN FESTIVAL HELD
Organizers of the African-American Festival said they wanted to give kids in the community someplace safe to go, and teach them about their culture at the same time.

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The 29th annual African-American Festival in Warren wrapped up on Sunday.

There was plenty of activity for patrons to enjoy, from vendors to food, games, entertainment and a health fair.

The festival, which started on Friday, took place on Courthouse Square.

“Van Williams started this, it was his dream, said Franky Parker, African-American Achievers Association. “This was, you know, what God placed on his heart to want to do.”

Williams’ wife, Carolla Williams, was the chairperson for the event.

Organizers said they wanted to give kids in the community some place safe to go, and teach them about their culture at the same time.

“Our kids, as they continue to grow as, as we continue to move on, they kind of lose a little bit of what the heritage is about, what the culture is about,” said Parker. “By having this festival, they’re able to come down here and see it, enjoy it and talk to, you know, some of us old timers.”

Lauren Austin, 12, comes to the festival just about every year. She likes walking around and feeling the different energy.

“We just got a necklace from one of the Jamaican stores over there and, it’s fun hearing their language and the way they talk,” she said.

Lalonnie Terry of Akron, has set up shop at the festival for years now.  She makes jewelry.

“I sell a lot of afro-centric jewelry,” she said. “I make a lot of the earrings, the necklaces with the cowrie shells and different bead work.”

Trumbull County African-American Achievers Association President, Bob Davis, provided the closing remarks at the festival Sunday night.

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