‘Feel the Heritage’ Festival Celebrating African-American Culture Returns Saturday

The “Feel the Heritage” festival, Arlington’s annual celebration of African American history and culture, returns to Nauck this weekend.

The 27th edition of the community event is set to be held Saturday (Feb. 23) at the Charles Drew Community Center (3500 23rd Street S.). The festival will run from 1-6 p.m.

The event is set to feature a full lineup of live entertainment, “from traditional African dancing and drumming to soul and funk,” according the event’s website. Local vendors will also be offering everything from jewelry to homemade hot sauce.

The festival will include a variety of free arts and crafts activities, plus face painting, balloon art and a chance to meet critters from the Gulf Branch and Long Branch Nature Centers.

And be sure to come hungry — the event will also feature “Foods Around the World” Plinko, giving participants a chance to taste foods from around the globe at random, as well as a “soul food cook-off competition” featuring dishes from seafood gumbo to peach pie.

Limited on-site parking will be available, with overflow parking at the Macedonia Baptist Church (3412 22nd Street S.).

If you’re planning on hopping on a scooter to head to the festival, Bird is offering $5 off for anyone using the code “BIRDHERITAGE.”

Flickr pool photo via Arlington County Parks and Recreation

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Date Set for Feel The Heritage Festival

The annual Feel The Heritage Festival, a black history month tradition now in its 26th year, is scheduled for Saturday, February 24.

The county-sponsored festival, held at the Charles Drew Community Center in Nauck, will host its first-ever soul food cook-off, with prizes for category winners. That’s in addition to dozens of vendors, music and dance acts, and fun for the kids.

Emceed by former WPGC 95.5 FM radio host Dr. Justine Love, a range of dance and musical groups will perform throughout the day, including a Joy of Motion dance center youth hip-hop group, and Elijah Jamal Balbed’s Chuck Brown-inspired The Jogo Project. Motown, hip-hop, gospel, and traditional African performers will also take the stage.

Festival organizers are touting dozens of artisan vendors selling jewelry, clothing, and more. Local African-American citizen associations and organizations, such as the Black Heritage Museum, will bring historical artifacts and photos for display in a “hall of history.”

Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company’s food truck will be parked outside of the community center, and the Nauck Youth Enterprise will sell hot dogs, half smokes, and more.

There will be plenty for kids to do, from creating a traditional African art inspired animal mask to face painting, balloon art, and oversize games of checkers and Connect Four. Colgate, the toothpaste company, will also be on-site from 2-6 p.m. to conduct free dental screenings and treatment referral for children up to 12 years old.

Photo via Arlington County

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