For the past 26 years, the African Festival of the Arts has been one of the most highly-anticipated festivals in Chicago. This year proved to be no different. Each year during the Labor Day weekend Chicago’s Washington Park is transformed into an African village filled with music, art and vendors. It is a family event with a focus on promoting African culture.
A festival would not be a festival in Chicago if the politicians didn’t come out. Congressman Danny K. Davis was recognized as the festival’s Grand Baba this year and was awarded a sculpted staff for the honor.
We asked Toya Jones what she loved about the African Festival of the Arts and she said, “I love the amount of blackness here. I love that it’s a large event with so many beautiful black people. I love seeing people buying from and supporting from black businesses. I love the entertainment.”
While the art and food serve as the constant draw to the festival, the music brings out people from across the diaspora. The festival has two stages, the world stage and the main stage. This year, Jeffery Osborne was the headliner on the main stage. He has not missed a beat in his forty years of performing and the audience loved him.
The African Festival of The Arts is an amazing time each year and we look forward to it continuing the legacy of promoting African based cultures.
Take a look at the gallery below.