Flavah, a local R&B, blues, pop and rock band, will perform at the Friday event. The members are Gary Keys, Eddie Jones, Randy Creighton, David Palmer, Ron Nesby, Aaron Nesby, Lisa Davenport and Sherman Flowers.
Burlington DJ Ant Bomb will kick off the party in Lincoln Park starting at 5 p.m.
“We wanted to bring some of that North End flavor to downtown Waterloo and showcase the art and creativity of our community,” said Felicia Smith-Nalls, Artistic Director of the North End Cultural Center. “DJ Ant Bomb is a party DJ, so he’s going to give us that BBQ-family reunion vibe to start the weekend.
Food vendors will include Jim’s BBQ, BBQ Brazil, Hungry Charlie’s, Konami Ice, Tu Away and Dominique’s Seafood. There will also be arts and crafts vendors and creative spaces throughout Lincoln Park.
Competitive drill teams from across the country will be featured at the Summer Soul Parade, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday. Drill crews will be in Waterloo for the Marching Against the Darkness competition at Young Arena, starting at 6 p.m. Saturday. Details are online at matd.org.
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The parade begins in Gates Park, following a route from Linn to North Barclay Streets, then North Barclay to Newell Streets and Newell Streets to Mobile Streets, and ends at Furgeson Fields Park. Prizes will be given to the winning entries.
“I like that the parade passes through the streets of Waterloo which have sometimes been historically neglected. Now we show people what the North End is and invite them to experience it. It’s exciting, and the drill crews are as energetic and talented as ever,” said Smith Nalls.
The festivities continue in the park from noon to 5:30 p.m. Saturday. The Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center is hosting a free Community Block Party at the festival. GBPAC provided the stage, sound and lights and crew “which really helped us grow our live entertainment. It’s a great partnership and support for the community,” she explained.
Entertainment will include performances by LowKey, a soul/funk R&B group, Sam Mack Jr. and Stankface, Hip Hop Literacy, Lonnie Pop and Ahmad Madlock. Local food and merchandise vendors will be present on the grounds and non-profit community organizations will offer information on local resources.
North End artists will showcase their work and a series of artwall panels will be displayed throughout the park. In addition, the Youth Art Team will return this year to produce portraits of festival-goers.
There is no vendor fee to enter the festival to encourage participation, Smith Nalls said. “People create art or make things and want to show it and sell it, but don’t know how to do that, or they don’t have enough to have it in a store or open a store. That’s when and where they can have that voice.
She added, “This is a neighborhood event, and giving voice to this community is the most important thing. Art is self-expression, and we bring people together not just to showcase their work, but to allow the public to come and experience that vibe of creativity, the vibe of the North End.
Photos: Northern Arts and Music Festival 2021