Hickory Street Harambee 2022 Looking for Performers, Vendors and Food Trucks

SPRINGFIELD – The revived Hickory Street Harambee is set August 6-7 at Rebecca M. Johnson School.

Harambe originated in 1968 when the late Raymond Jordan and others organized a festival to honor the creative achievements of African Americans in Springfield.

The festival faded into the 2000s until Veronica McNair, Jenal Rentas, Gelita Fronberger, Freddy MacDonald, and Cedric Williams revitalized it and renamed it Hickory Street Harambe.

The revived festival will enter its eighth year in August and will only be paused in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s a community festival for everyone,” said McNair, chair of the Harambee Committee. “It’s an opportunity for some people to earn money, showcase their talents, and come together as a community in a safe way.”

Business owners, food truck sellers and performers have the opportunity to participate in Hickory Street Harambe, scheduled for August 6-7 (Ed Cohen Photo)

McNair said they held a launch party to prepare Springfield residents for the festival, the first of which was held last year and is scheduled for August 5 this year.

“We had a great response from the community, great turnout for the party and created an energy that was exceptional,” McNair said. “This year, we’ll be having our kickoff party at the Cozy Cafe and Courtyard Pavilion on State Street.”

Food, prizes and music from DJ Bobby Black the Ruler will be available at the opening gala starting at 10pm

During the two days of the event, both of which will take place from noon to 7 pm, guests will be able to browse a variety of food trucks, food vendors and local businesses and enjoy performances from musicians, poets, and comedians.

Spaces are still available for food vendors, business owners, and artists. To reserve a spot on either day, call McNair at 413-883-6848 or a member of the Harambee Jenal Rentas Committee at 413-246-7661.

On Saturday, August 6, children between the ages of 4 and 12 will be able to take part in a fashion show at the festival.

Harambee India Committee member Anderson can be reached at 413-204-8231 if a parent wishes to register their child.

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