The City of Alexandria hosted the African Heritage Cultural Festival last Saturday at Market Square. The country of Angola was featured throughout the day in conjunction with the Embassy of Angola.
Mayor Bill Euille opened the festival, sending regrets from the Ambassador of Angola to the United States, her Excellency Josefina Pitra Diakite, who fell ill and could not attend. Vice mayor Kerry Donley and councilmembers Del Pepper and Frank Fannon were also in attendance.
The country of Angola was featured throughout the day with performances of traditional dance, poetry and songs of Angolan artists by Angolan children and a fashion show representing the 18 provinces of Angola.
Featured performances included the Prince William County Players, SAMOO and the band JFC, with Caribbean sound; Elikeh, Afro funk music; Phaze II Jazz; and Nu-Era with contemporary R&B.
In addition, the festival featured youth performances by recreation center participants, church groups and other local young talent. The festival also featured displays showcasing traditional arts, crafts, paintings and souvenirs on Market Square, including art by Angolan artists Pedro Quissanga and Nelson Costa.
Visitors also enjoyed several film screenings shown in the Vola Lawson Gallery inside City Hall. The city also offered Alexandria African Heritage Tours in Old Town.
The annual festival is cosponsered by the citys Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities and the African Heritage Cultural Festival Committee.