Every year KwanzaaFest comes to Fair Park in Dallas and brings with it amazing talent! There’s always featured R&B or Hip Hop artists, and this year is no different. Prepare yourself to be serenaded by Tyrese and Eric Benet!! KwanzaaFest is a two-day festival that celebrates the African American culture and African Christmas traditions. Taking place Saturday and Sunday, December 10-11, at the Automobile Building, the annual festival offers free admission with tons of vendors. Although the event is Free, you still have to have a ticket to get in, so click here to find out all the different ways of getting your hands on a ticket! You can register here also for a ticket.
Here’s a clip of Jaheim performing at KwanzaaFest a few years ago (2007):
Although “Kwanzaa” to many North Texans simply means a good concert by a popular artist and getting together for Christmas arts and crafts, the history of Kwanzaa goes much deeper. Kwanzaa comes from the phrase ”matunda ya kwanza” which in Swahili means, “first fruits”. Professor and chairman of Black Studies at California State University – Long Beach, Dr. Maulana Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966. After the Watts riots in LA, he searched for ways to bring African Americans together as a community. Each family celebrates Kwanzaa in their own way, but oftentimes celebrations include songs, dances, African drums, poetry reading, storytelling and a large traditional meal. There are seven principles (or Nguzo Saba) associated with Kwanaza and each day of Kwanzaa emphasizes a different principle. Click here to learn the set of 7 ideals created by Dr. Mualana Karenga.
KwanzaaFest certainly helps bring some unity to the North Texas African American community around the holiday season. Not only does it bring African Americans together, but residents of all colors and backgrounds also. The annual gathering of business owners and their products and services started back in 1990. Since then the event has grown into a yearly well-known cultural, educational, family-focused event that includes several worthwhile components. In the past singers like Mary Mary, Lloyd, Jaheim, Jazmine Sullivan, Jon B. and many other big headliners have performed on stage.
Some of the other artists expected to perform at KwanzaaFest 2011, in addition to Eric Benet and Tyrese, include: Mindless Behavior, Wale, Durrough, Mario, Beat King, Kirko Bangz, Ace Hood, Treal Lee & Prince Rick and apparently the Free concert starts at Noon!
Another important aspect of KwanzaaFest is the health outreach. Last year KwanzaaFest reached a hallmark of providing more than $1 million dollars in FREE healthcare through more than 46,850 health services!
I have to note that Be the Match will also be on location registering bone marrow donors. Unfortunately, 28% of registry members are of diverse racial or ethnic heritage, and only 7% of that 28% is African American/Black represented on the Be The Match Registry of over 9 million members. (10% of 28% is Latino community) This makes it very difficult for patients with sickle cell and Leukemia that are from this heritage find the needed help and hope. Seventy percent of patients needing a marrow transplant who do not have a matching donor in their families. Four out of ten patients actually receive the transplant they need. Barriers to transplant include: lack of access to health care, no or limited insurance, lack of timely referral for transplant, decline in health status and inability to find a matching donor or cord blood unit. In either case, remember that you can help to save a life. If you’re a minority or of diverse/ethnic heritage it’s even more important that you do your part and not be dissuaded by the myths. Do your research! (well enough about that….for now)
The Annual Beat Obesity 5K Walk/Run and 1 Mile Kid’s Run will take place on Saturday morning, December 10, 2011. Click here for more info!
Get ready for KwanzaaFest 2011 at Fair Park’s Automobile Building!
–KwanzaaFest 2011 Dates–
Saturday, December 10
10:00AM – 7:00PM
Sunday, December 11
11:00AM – 6:00PM
1010 1st Avenue