Black Culture Festival kicks off Friday at new Parcel 5 location 

click to enlarge Parcel 5 is the new location for the second annual Black Culture Festival, which runs July 30 and 31.


Parcel 5 is the new location for the second annual Black Culture Festival, which runs July 30 and 31.

Black music, poetry, art, and entrepreneurship will be celebrated during this weekend's second annual Black Culture Festival.

The first event, held last year in Genesee Valley Park, was created to support Black businesses during the pandemic. Co-organizer Will Powers said it was supposed to be a one-time event, but it was so well-received, they were inspired to do it again.

“Everybody that attended was really happy, '' Powers said. “And the people who missed it were asking if it was just one year or if it was going to be a continual thing.”

This year, it's expanded into a two-day celebration at Parcel 5 in downtown Rochester. New offerings include a youth talent show, a majorette dance battle, comedy acts, and live music.

Powers and his team are hoping the added entertainment and new location will receive a similar response to last year's festival.

Co-organizer Alia Evans said it's an event that everyone can attend and appreciate Black Culture.

“We have the Greek Festival. We have the Ukrainian Festival. We have the Puerto Rican Festival," Evans said. “And all those festivals are inclusive to everyone. So everyone can come."

Evans said their mission is to give Black business owners a space to network and build capital, and they’re hoping people will come and enjoy the entertainment while supporting local Black businesses.

“We would want people to keep that in mind as they come out to patronize the different vendors,” Evans said.

The festival runs from 5 to 10 p.m. on Friday, July 30, and noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 31, at Parcel 5. Admission is free.

April Franklin is a reporter for WXXI Public Media, a media partner of CITY.
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