Besa Gordon

Besa Gordon

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SEATTLE: Umoja Fest 2019 Goes DOWN This Weekend

Growing up in the CD, it was normal to watch the Umoja Fest Parade with my cousins, (I’m a only child lol) Then walk down to Judkins park to wait in long lines for amazing food while everyone danced to the music and shopped the local Black vendors.

Once I joined the Beta Rose Petals I actually had the honor of being in the parade. And no, I don’t have any of the footage, BUT if Preach Dumas happens to run across this post, I’m sure the videos will magically appear.

Anywhoots, this weekend Umoja Fest is back! Get all the scoop you need to know to get the best experience out of this Seattle summer tradition. 

Seattle, WA. — The Annual Umoja Fest Africatown Heritage Festival & Parade will be full of the sights, sounds, and tastes of the Black experience.

The Parade will be held Saturday, Aug 3rd, 1 pm, starting at 23rd & Cherry and going south on 23rd Avenue to Jackson St. Parade highlights include GHS ‘69 Class Reunion Amazing Drill Teams, Buffalo Soldiers of Seattle, CD Panthers Football & Cheer, GirlTrek, Black Nurses Rock, Coyote Central, African American Heritage Float, and the Teen Summer Musical Uncle Willy’s Chocolate Factory and many community businesses and organizations.

Held in Seattle’s historic Africatown-Central District, home to the city’s musical legacy ranging from jazz to hip hop, the festival features 2 days and 3 stages of live R&B, soul, jazz, blues. This year’s Soul in the City Stage headliner is 90’s R&B National Recording Artist, Surface. The group performs on Sunday, August 4th. Surface became popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s with hits like “Happy”, "The First Time" and "Shower Me with Your Love."

Other musical guests include: Ancient Robots, Surround Sound, Omega, Dre Love, Goodybagg, Heath Martin, DeChelle Monet, Dwayne Darby, Rachel Foxx, and Blend, Michell Lang, Sistahs Rock the Arts, “Surface “, Lady Jay, LaKeiva Pam and Andra Green and the Solution, Rosechelle Obare, African Dance Club, Umuoma Dance Troupe, Yoruba Spiritual Ceremony, JHP Legacy, Izzy Baba Melo, Kut-N-Up, Swego, Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony, Nu Kru, Kouyate Arts, Ada Fitness, Somalian Dance Group, Lion of Judah Band, Afro-Fusion Dance, Anthony Cole, DMV Music, Skye Dior, Dancing Silouhette and many more.

Full Schedule includes:

Friday, August 2nd

11:00 AM - 3:00 PM

• Children's Day & Family Fun Village

9:00 PM

• Movie in the Park featuring Black Panther

Saturday, August 3rd

1:00 PM

• Africatown Heritage Parade

11:00 AM - 8:00 PM

• Soul in the City Stage

• AfroBeats & Kulture Stage

• Roots Stage

• Heal The Hood Basketball Tournament

• Umoja Football Scrimmage

3:00 - 5:30 PM

• Made For Now Fashion Show:

Sunday, August 4th

1:00 - 7:00 PM

• Soul in the City Stage

• AfroBeats & Kulture Stage

• Heal The Hood Basketball Tournament

The festival is August 2-4 at Judkins Park in Seattle’s Central District. Admission is FREE. The event is happening with support from Vulcan, BECU, Starbucks, Lyft, Banner Bank, MarPac Construction, Capitol Hill Housing, Black Community Impact Alliance, Byrd Barr Place, YMCA of Greater Seattle, Iora Primary Care, The City of Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle Children’s, Third Level Events, and many other community organizations and businesses. For more info visit or call 877.505.6306.

About Umoja Fest

A Seafair sanctioned event, the annual festival, and parade have been in the community over six decades, the Umoja Fest Africatown Heritage Festival & Parade brings the Soul to Seafair! "Umoja" is a Swahili word which means "unity", is the main theme of the festival. Event highlights include the Africatown Heritage Parade, Children’s Day & Family Fun Village, three stages of live music including Soul, Jazz, African Drum & Dance, Hip-Hop and Spoken Word, Basketball Tournament, Vendor Marketplace & Community Resource Fair.

If I don’t get too lit Friday night I’m definitely pulling up Saturday or Sunday!

P.S. If you’re not following me on Instagram you’re not getting the full Besa experience! Follow me @Naybesa

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