African World Festival postponed due to COVID-19 concerns

Posted at 11:15 AM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 11:22:49-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The 38th anniversary of the Annual African World Festival has been postponed due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the event host, has officially postponed the festival from August 14-16, 2020, to the weekend of August 20-22, 2021.

The family-friendly event annually occurs over a 3-day weekend and features several stages of entertainment, more than 125 marketplace vendors, over 200 vendors of authentic African and Caribbean foods, clothes, health products, visual arts, live demonstrations, and more.

“The African World Festival is a special event in which individuals of all ages come together to celebrate the histories and cultures of the Diaspora,” says CHWM President and CEO Neil Barclay. “We believe that until it is safe for very large crowds to gather, postponing the African World Festival will save lives, in particular, those among us who are most vulnerable to the disease. We look forward to a bigger and even better event next year, and invite all of our sponsors, vendors, entertainment, and guests to join us!”

In its inaugural year, AWF was held at Hart Plaza in Downtown Detroit. Nearly 10 years ago, it was moved to the Museum to crowds that surpassed 125,000. As a result, and before the pandemic hit, the highly anticipated 38th Annual African World Festival, symbolically themed “The Return” was scheduled to excite crowds again, in Detroit’s Hart Plaza.

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