September 26, 2009 9:26:00 PM
Seventh Avenue Heritage Festival chair Kabir Karriem has a good feeling about this year''s big event Oct. 1-3.
"I really believe that with the artists we''re bringing in, we''re expecting to exceed any size crowd we''ve had before," he said.
One reason for that prediction is headliners K-Ci and JoJo -- brothers Cedric and Joel Hailey. The North Carolina natives many know from late ''90s and 2001 hits like "All My Life," "Tell Me It''s Real," "If You Think You''re Lonely Now" and "Crazy," will take the stage Saturday, Oct. 3, about 8 p.m.
The Grammy-nominated and American Music Award winners will entertain with lush ballads and edgier repertoire in what was once one of Columbus'' bustling African-American business and entertainment districts. The chart-topping duo joins other artists including Jeff Floyd, Karen Wolfe and the Jous Band.
"We want to make this a party with a purpose," Karriem said. "We don''t charge admission, but we are asking people to bring canned foods and non-perishable items for a holiday food drive. If everybody brings something, we can make a real difference."
Weekend festivities begin with a pre-party Thursday at the Master Hosts Inn. The outdoor festival kicks off Oct. 2 on Seventh Avenue with live music from 6-9 p.m.
On the evening of Oct. 3, festival organizers will publicly honor three local residents with Heritage Awards, showing appreciation to individuals who, Karriem said, have exemplified extraordinary community service.
Honorees are Vanessa Carter, owner of Carter Funeral Home; Bobby Holiday, program director and disc jockey for Cumulus Broadcasting''s'' Mix 106; and Billy Wayne White, a longtime volunteer youth athletics coach. The recipients will be recognized at approximately 7 p.m., according to Karriem.
Bring the family
"Things will be going on all through the day Saturday," Karriem stated. "We start with a ceremony at 10 a.m., and gospel starts at 11 a.m. We have a free Kidsville, with a WCBI Kids News booth and children''s activities from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., a karate demonstration, The Commercial Dispatch barbecue contest and more."
In its heyday, the Queen City Hotel on Seventh Avenue hosted such entertainment royalty as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Fats Domino, B.B. King and Little Richard. The landmark was demolished in 2007, but music has always remained an important element of the festival.
Live blues and R&B music begins Saturday with Wolfe at about 4:30 p.m., followed by Floyd and, later, K-Ci & JoJo.
"This event serves as a homecoming for people from all across the country," said Karriem. "I just thank the people who continue to support it. These festivals are quite expensive; we couldn''t do it without them.
"This event is for the entire family. If you''ve never been to one, we want you to come out, relax, enjoy the food and sounds of music and let the kids play. It''s a good event for the entire community."
For more information about the Seventh Avenue Heritage Festival, go to www.7thavenueheritagefestival.com, or contact Karriem at 662-549-4314.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.
Kimberly aka mrs.Ktmfrom the C-town ofMs. commented at 10/4/2009 10:53:00 PM:
I was there and that was one lovely time of the night when Kci and JoJo came to the stage.That was the only reason why I even came there.I really did enjoy thier performances.I love thier songs and them.They are cute to me. I thought they was gonna leave without singing one of my favorite jamz"All my life" but they turned around and surprised me.And then i was about to leave but I was like that's my song, I just could'nt leave i had to turn back around just to hear it,i love it so,so much,that made my night but my head was hurting like crazy when it was all over even after i woke up the next day!I'm still thinking about it and Kci and JoJO ya'll could've stayed a little longer but i understand,all those people was in my way but i still love ya'll!
Kimberly aka mrs.Ktmfrom the C-town ofMs. commented at 10/4/2009 10:58:00 PM:
Yeah and it would've been funny if Martin Lawrence would've came out on the stage like he did on his tv show.I think that's funny still that's what i was thinking about.lol
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Dollar Items commented at 4/14/2010 4:00:00 AM:
So cool. What else can I say.