Northampton Heritage Festival Returns for Fifth Year

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By Stefanie Jackson – The Cape Charles-Northampton County African American Heritage Festival will return this coming July Fourth weekend, with food, games, music, and more.

The fifth annual festival will celebrate the history and legacy of African Americans in Cape Charles and greater Northampton County who have contributed to the community, and it will invite family to come home to the Eastern Shore to help make a difference.

The festival is a three-day event that will kick off with registration and a meet-and-greet Friday, July 5, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at First Baptist Church in Cape Charles.

Guest speakers will be the Rev. Felton Sessoms and Thomas George Godwin, who will discuss “What Ever Happened to the Corner Store?”

A family fun day and cookout will follow Saturday, July 6, noon to 4 p.m., at the Cape Charles Central Park pavilion. This central event of the Heritage Festival will offer kids activities, games, prizes, music, and dancing, as well as voter registration. A concert will be held at 7 p.m.

Family Fun Day will celebrate “Young Men in Community, Business, and Education” with special guests Roderick Bell, William Boatwright, Adrian Custis, Andre Elliott, Tori Giddens, Anthony Harris, James Jenkins, Marvin Mitchell, Muneer Moore, Quinton Nottingham, and Todd and Tony Washington.

The event will wrap up with a worship service Sunday, July 7, 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., at St. Stephens AME Church in Cape Charles. The theme will be, “Home Is Where the Heart Is.”

Previous hometown heroes include Odell Johnson Collins, 30-year president of the Northampton County High School Alumni Association, Alice Coles, Northampton County NAACP member and longtime Bayview community activist, Charles Bell, Northampton County High School biology teacher and American Legion Post 400 outstanding leader, and Mary Elizabeth Custis Holmes, Northampton County’s school nurse and first black registered nurse.

Registration for the main event on Saturday is $15 for adults, $7.50 for youth ages 12 to 18, and free for children under 12. The cost to attend Friday’s lecture is $10.

T-shirts will be available for children and adults with prices ranging from $7.50 to $12.50, depending on size.

For more information about the Heritage Festival, contact Lenora Mitchell at 757-331-2416 or lynn4061@gmail.com or Deborah Elliott at 202-374-8298 or daefaith537@gmail.com