Wednesday, February 25, 2015

12th Annual African-American History Festival Tops Past Festivals

H'COLA Cowgirls (Left to Right) 
Melissa West, Soudra Davis, Brenda Ash, Martha Greene and Stella Bryant

With great weather, along with an increase in attendance, an excellent selection of entertainment and good food the 12th Annual African-American History Festival held in the Historic City of Apalachicola over the weekend, by all accounts will go down as the biggest and best to date.

The three-day event hosted by the Hillside Coalition of Laborers for Apalachicola, Inc., (H’COLA) in celebration of Black History Month was the place to be and if you weren’t there, you missed a great festival. 
Festival Highlights

“This year’s festival was a roaring success… the kick-off event, an old school dance on Friday, got the three-day affair off to a great start and with its western theme, cowboy boots & hats were everywhere as the crowd danced the night away, having lots of fun”, said H’COLA President Elinor Mount-Simmons. 

At the conclusion of the parade on Saturday the crowd started gathering inside the festival grounds at the Franklin Square Recreation Park on 6th Street to catch the rousing performance by the Tallahassee Boys & Girls Club marching band drum-line, followed by Apalachicola resident Harold Byrd singing the National Anthem in the style of Marvin Gaye, along with a host of other excellent entertainment. 

“Saturday was an all-day fun feast, starting with a morning parade that led right into the day-long celebration. The weather was gorgeous and the people from the Franklin County community and elsewhere came out to support the festival, spending money at the vendors and staying around to enjoy a great line up of entertainment”, Mount-Simmons said.

Everybody got their praise on during Sunday’s outdoor worship service from uplifting performances by the Community Male Chorus and a timely delivered message by Dr. Roderick L. Robinson, Jr., concerning reasons to give God praise.

“Sunday was the last day of the festival, with worship service in the park beginning at noon. Great support came from the community churches, many who had abbreviated services in their own houses of worship, or none at all, so they could support H'COLA and come together for a great time of fellowship with others from the community”, said Mount-Simmons.

The events and activities were all made possible through the generous contributions from the following sponsors: The City of Apalachicola; The Franklin County Tourist Development Council; Centennial Bank; J.V. Gander Distributors; Franklin County Health Department/SWAT; The Atlantic Philanthropies; Duke Energy; St. Joe Rent All; Weems Memorial Hospital, Sanders & Duncan, PA; St. Paul AME Church; Lowery Masonry; Flint Equipment Company; Franklin County Property Appraiser Rhonda Skipper; Preble-Rish; Curt Blair; The Love Center Worldwide Ministries; Lynn's Quality Oysters; The Honey Hole; Resort Vacation Properties; FCTV; Sign DeSign; Willis ACE; Florida Seafood Festival Board of Directors; Galloway Construction; Piggly Wiggly and Carpet Country.                

“H'COLA thanks everyone for their amazing support of the 12th Annual African-American History Festival. The three days were a resounding success and H'COLA sincerely appreciates everyone for coming out and experiencing the special time”, Mount-Simmons said.