Harambee festival preview

Photo courtesy: rattlernation.blogspot.com

In an effort to close out Black History Month with a bang, the Florida A&M University Harambee Festival is set to kick off this upcoming Saturday at Cascades Park. A day highlighting Black culture, music, and businesses will begin at 11 a.m. and run until 7 p.m. 

Guests look forward to the ‘family reunion’ style event with something fun for all ages to enjoy. 

“The Harambee Festival is an annual celebration that is part of Florida A&M University’s commitment to “Unity to the Community.” The event is a highlight of our spring calendar. We look forward to welcoming one and all to Cascades Park and the Adderly Amphitheater for a day of entertainment and culture,” said President Larry Robinson, Ph.D.

This year’s festival will include a concert lineup with performances by Tallahassee Nights Live, Kami Hayes & Vibe, Raa Steel Drum Band, and the FAMU Jazz Ensemble and Combo. Joe Bullard, a well-known Tallahassee broadcaster, will serve as the MC of the event. 

Andrew Conner, health science major and member of the FAMU Jazz Ensemble, shares the group’s musical selections and his excitement for their performance. 

“We are going to perform a jazz piece by Butcher Brown, ‘Reasons’ by Earth, Wind, and Fire, and selections by Stevie Wonder, Maze, and Frankie Beverly. We will also perform ‘We are One,’ which points out that we are one all of us as humans. That will be very special for us to perform,” Conner said. “I’ve never played at the Harambee Fest before but I hear it’s a packed event. I’m looking forward to how the community will respond to our music.”

Outside of music, the food and vendors are always a hit. Businesses from across the region come together to serve a wide variety of international foods and sell a range of items from shea butter to handmade art. In addition to the festivities, numerous FAMU colleges will have booths in hopes of recruiting students. 

Madison McNealy, a freshman computer science student, also shares her excitement to attend the event. 

“My senior year of high school I saw a lot of FAMU students on social media going to the Harambee Festival and I’ve been planning to attend for the first time since last year,” McNealy said. “I’m most looking forward to the pop-up shops, I can’t wait to get some shea butter and perfume oils.”

You can find all of this and more on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 1001 S Gadsden St.