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The 24th Annual UMOJA Festival

5/15/2014, 9:32 a.m.
Bernadette Stanis will be a special guest at this year’s UMOJA festival.

The City of Portsmouth will host its 24th Annual UMOJA Festival at nTelos Wireless Pavilion and Festival Park from May 23 – 25, 2014.

Umoja is the Swahili word for “unity” and is the first principle of Kwanza. This principle emulates unity in the family, community and nation.

Anita Blanton, Anchor/Reporter at WAVY TV 10, will emcee the opening ceremony, taking place on Friday at 5:30pm.

This year’s theme “A World of Things to Do. A Continent of Things to Feel” represents the rich heritage of African culture and the manner in which it weaves into our national tapestry. Festival goers are introduced to the continent through art, performance, entertainment, demonstration, music and food. A marketplace of sculptures, paintings, prints, baskets, and other assorted handcrafted wares and jewelry contribute to the ambiance of the Umoja Festival. While children’s activities are a specialty at the festival, this year is no exception with a Kids Corner featuring face painting, bounce houses, games, arts & crafts and a climbing wall.

Special guests at this year’s Umoja Festival include Anita Blanton, Anchor/Reporter, Bernadette Stanis, best known for her role as Thelma on the hit television show “Good Times” and the I.C. Norcom Boys State Championship Basketball players.

Admission to Umoja Festival is free and open to the public. Musical performers include local bands, The Good Life Band, Against All Odds, and Strictly Bizness. National recording artists, The Stylistics will perform on Saturday at 9:30 p.m., and Shirley Murdock Sunday at 5:30 p.m.

Further information about the festival can be viewed on its website www.umojafestivalportsmouth.com or on www.portsvaevents.com.