News Column

Second annual Heritage Festival brings music, unity to Zinn Park

June 22, 2014

By Laura Monroe, The Anniston Star, Ala.



June 22--Admission to the second annual Heritage Music Festival Saturday at Zinn Park is free, but if someone asks you for a code word, remember this simple phrase: Word up.

Funk band Cameo, who had a Top 40 hit in 1986 with "Word Up," is the final performance of the festival, ending a day full of music from artists of various genres.

Rod Lemon, who helped choose the lineup for this year's festival, said he wanted to bring Cameo to Anniston because the band puts on an exciting performance.

"Just their past experiences and some of the highlights of their career prove it," Lemon said. "They're a good fit for Anniston because of the positive things they bring to the table."

Cameo will follow performances by Daybreakk and Whodini, acts Lemon said will be fun to see.

"I think people can expect to have a really good time and be entertained by not just two but three outstanding bands," he said.

The main concert doesn't begin until 7 p.m. but there will be music and activities for all ages beginning at 1 p.m. Food vendors will be on site, and there will be a kid's zone offering slides, bounce houses and games. Everything in the kid's zone is free including access to the park's new splash pad, which will open for the first time the day before the festival.

Master of ceremonies Charles Barclay said the event is focused on giving back to the community and that it's important to offer people a free event that will entertain the whole family.

"Our major thing is to have it family-oriented so that the whole family can come out," he said. "Especially those families that can't afford to go to Six Flags or Alabama Adventure because it's too far and too expensive. You can't go to Six Flags for free, but we are going to do this for free and we are doing it right here in Anniston."

Nonprofit organizations will host booths to educate people on a variety of topics from healthy living to voting rights, said Barclay, explaining that the theme of the event is to unite the community while giving back to it at the same time.

"That's our most important part of the whole event," he said. "We want to give back to the community in a family-friendly way."

Calling the festival "a celebration of culture," Barclay said he hopes residents of all heritages will come out. "It's not Juneteenth or anything specific. It's about all cultures."

Anniston councilman Seyram Selase agreed and said the event is about more than just music or a day at the park.

"We are really working to promote the cultural competency of different ethnic groups and heritages in our community," Selase said. "It's very important to recognize different ethnic and heritage groups. We need to become as much of a multicultural city as we can."

Lawn chairs and 10-by-10 foot tents will be permitted in designated areas. If interested in hosting an arts and crafts booth or public service booth, contact Barclay at 256-454-2724.

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(c)2014 The Anniston Star (Anniston, Ala.)

Visit The Anniston Star (Anniston, Ala.) at www.annistonstar.com

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Source: Anniston Star (AL)


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