CAMBRIDGE — The Groove City Black Heritage & Culture Group held its 3rd Annual Groove City Culture Fest on Aug. 21 and 22.
The festival had gained so much interest over the previous month that a second day had been added to accommodate all the musical and dancing acts, vendors and activities. The event took place on Pine Street in Cambridge.
“The Groove City Culture Festival is one of the largest annual cultural and art festivals in the Dorchester County area, and it’s growing by the minute,” a statement from organizers said. “The festival serves as a community platform for its rich African-American culture, talent and arts. It is a family-friendly, cultural experience that includes performances by national and local recording artists, local youth and church organizations, a visual art exhibit, health and wellness education, African-inspired goods and fashion, spoken word, and ethnic, local foods. This event attracts a broad cross-section of age, socio-economic and ethnically diverse residents from the area and beyond.”
Board President Veronica Taylor said, “Because of COVID-19, we were not able to execute this event last year. However, the committee is very excited and looking forward to presenting the community with a host of performances with over 60 vendors. Over the past month, we received many calls and emails from people wanting to participate in the fest. Because of this, we added an additional day.”
There was a celebrity guest performance by MTV’s “Wild n Out” Yvng Swag from Chestertown, as well as national recording artist and one of D.C.’s top GoGo bands, “Junkyard Band”. Also on Saturday was a fashion show by Oddyssey of Black Fashion showcasing Groove City original designs, operated by Chadocia Mcknight of Cambridge.
The Universal African Drum and Dance Ensemble traveled from New Jersey to bring their energetic and colorful performance to the festival. The group, founded by Robert and Wanda Dickerson, has achieved international recognition as its authentic and creative shows highlight a musical aspect of the African-American experience.
Addressing the crowd before her drummers and dancers began their show, Ms. Dickerson said, “We must teach our children about their culture.”
On Aug. 22 from 3–9 p.m., participants met in Cornish Park (the Nursery) on Douglas Street to relax, enjoy music, basketball, food, funnel cakes and more. Worldplay DJs provided music.
There were many opportunities to soak in culture, talent and art. Visitors checked out a community art project being led by Bobbie Ennels of Cambridge. She is doing a mural on Pine Street that will reflect the historical businesses that were there before the 1967 fire that gutted much of that African-American community.
Other highlights of the Culture Fest on Saturday were a Kidzone Area, where the Boys & Girls Club, Horn’s Point Lab and staff from Dorchester County Public School and Dorchester Career & Technology Center will be onsite with lots of games and activities and school supplies given away.
Organizers thanked sponsors and volunteers who made this year’s event possible.
This year’s sponsors include Elks Lodge #223, Crescent Cities Charities, Maryland State Arts Council, Dorchester County Democratic Party, RAR, Kelly Distributors, Jones Mini Mart, R.S. & J Escavation, Inc., the Heart of the Chesapeake Country Heritage Area, Friends of Dorchester County Library, and Portlife T-Shirts sponsored the Kidzone.
For more information, call 443-225-0819 or visit groovecityculturefest.com. Groove City Black Heritage & Culture Group is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Donations are tax-deductible.