City of Alexandria to Host 2nd Annual Africa FEST

Page archived as of September 8, 2019

City of Alexandria to Host 2nd Annual Africa FEST  

For Immediate Release: August 20, 2019 

The City of Alexandria will host its second annual Africa FEST on Saturday, September 7, from noon to 5 p.m. at Patrick Henry Recreation Center (4653 Taney Ave.). Africa FEST is a free community-wide celebration of African heritage through dance, music, food, crafts and culture. Traditional African attire is encouraged.  

Africa FEST is presented in collaboration with the Alexandria Black History Museum, African Union Mission to the USA, Pan-African Diaspora Women’s Association and Youth Association, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art.

Several African embassies, including those of Angola, Cameroon, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia and others will be represented. Ambassadors and dignitaries will participate in ceremonies and embassy staff will host cultural displays and activities. 

Nigerian-American singer/songwriter Janeliasoul will be the mistress of ceremonies for the following scheduled activities: 

  • Noon - Official welcome and traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony with elected officials, dignitaries and special guests, which celebrates the Ethiopian New Year on September 12. 
  • 12:30 p.m. - Ni Dembaya West African Drum and Dance Company leads the parade of nations showcasing 55 African flags to symbolize the unity and pride of the continent
  • 1:30 p.m. - VUSA: Voices from Southern Africa performs a cappella choral selections from South Africa and other southern African nations
  • 2:30 p.m. - Chosen Generation, an African dance youth group, performs dances from Cameroon
  • 3:30 p.m. - Ethio Dankira performs traditional music from Ethiopia and Eritrea
  • 4:30 p.m. - Janeliasoul performs Nigerian soul and Afrobeat music
  • 5 p.m. - Closing remarks

Hands-on activities will take place throughout the afternoon, including African games, painting workshops and a drumming and dancing workshop. Vendors will also be selling traditional food.

Event sponsors include African Union Mission to the USA, Kathy Wilson Foundation, Gold Works by David Martin; West End Business Association, Marta Ali Studios and The Zebra. Use of public transportation is encouraged. Visit Metrobus or DASH for schedule information. 

Africa FEST originated as the Ethiopian New Year celebration at the Oswald Durant Center. However, with community support, it broadened to become a Pan-African event and outgrew its previous location. 

For more information about Africa FEST, visit alexandriava.gov/Arts

For media inquiries, contact Andrea Blackford, Senior Communications Officer, at andrea.blackford@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.3959. 

For reasonable disability accommodation, contact arts@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.5592, Virginia Relay 711.  

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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/111007.

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