To coincide with the weekly Frenchtown Farmers Market, the eighth annual Frenchtown Heritage Festival took place on Nov. 3rd at Georgia Street and North Martin Luther King Boulevard.
To kick off the event, Heritage Hub organizers Jim Bellamy and Menia Chester began with opening comments, thanking those who showed up and encouraged everyone to shop with the vendors.
Bellamy is the executive director for the Frenchtown Neighborhood Improvement Association, and one of the driving forces behind this festival. Born and raised in Frenchtown, he mentioned that he wants to see more Florida A&M University students out and helping.
“I would love to see more FAMU students helping, informing them and letting them know of these opportunities is important to the growth of our community,” Bellamy said.
The festival was full of fun, food and happy residents. Around 10:00 a.m. event attendants began arriving to enjoy the music, laughter and ambient chatter, that was present.
As the sound system went live, the community became more vibrant and prepared themselves for a good time. DJ Lil Boy from Blazin 102.3, played tunes while locals shopped with various vendors.
96.1 Jamz was also present at the event to give residents a chance to win prizes.
With police blocking traffic at the end of Georgia Street, residents were free to walk along the path and visit the many vendors that were all around.
These vendors included Leola’s Crab Shack, Vegan Vybz, Favor Soul Food Eatz, Arts, Arts of Ause, the Frenchtown Beez and many more.
Chester is the owner of Deserts by Latrell and she has found pride in working with the community. She occasionally offers cooking lessons to groups at Farm Share and other events. Her most recent task involved the opening of Tallahassee’s commercial kitchen known as KitchenShareTLH.
Her goal for Frenchtown is to make the community knowledgeable, more resilient and overall healthier.
“This area is known as a food desert and it’s important to educate everyone on healthier eating,” Chester said.
For the festival, Chester appointed public relations majors from FAMU to run the campaign for the Heritage Hub.
At the event, FAMU PR majors were judges for a taste test featuring local BBQ. With four ribs on the table, students were given the option of trying the BBQ with Hatcher’s Habanero Hot sauce or Hatcher’s Scotch Bonnet sauce. The second plate given to students was Curry Chicken.
At the conclusion of the taste test there was a workout. Kelvin Frazier better known as “Coach Kel” and his wife Yvonne hosted a 30-minute workout. The couple owns a facility in Tallahassee called Kingz and Queenz Fitness.
Frazier started to take his health more seriously after a health scare. With help from his wife, he started to eat healthy avoid meals such as pizza and ramen noodles
“I was told I have to change my diet,” recalled Frazier. “They said you have to change your diet if not your going to have a stroke.”
Those events motivated him to eat better and would spark his interest in fitness outside of sports.
After a successful event planned by the Heritage Hub, with the of FAMU students, it is clear the Frenchtown neighborhood hopes to make many more improvements in the future.
For more events and future opportunities please visit the official website for the Heritage Hub at HeritageHub.com.