Kunta Kinte Festival Returns to City Dock on Sept. 25 for 31st Year to Celebrate Cultural Heritage of Africans, African Americans and Caribbean People of African Descent
ANNAPOLIS, MD (September 20, 2021) – The Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival will return to City Dock for the 31st year on Saturday, September 25, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The festival is for all ages to celebrate perseverance, education and cultural heritage of Africans, African Americans and Caribbean people of African descent. The festival is returning after a hiatus last year due to the pandemic. Admission is free.
The festival features art, music, dance and food, including more than 100 artisan, food and education vendors, a Children’s Tent with fun activities and three live music and dance performance spaces.
Kunta Kinte is the protagonist in Alex Haley’s seminal novel, “Roots: The Saga of An American Family.” In the story, Kunta Kinte was one of 98 enslaved people brought to Annapolis aboard the ship Lord Ligonier in 1767. Despite many years in bondage, he never lost his connection to his African heritage. Kunta Kinte's experience symbolizes the struggle of all ethnic groups to preserve their cultural heritage.
In Roots, Haley revisits the oral histories told by his grandmother of an ancestor named Kunta Kinte who landed in Annapolis in 1767. Haley’s book spent 46 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, selling more than 1.5 million copies. In 1977, the television mini-series of the same name launched a boom in the field of genealogy. “Roots” earned a Pulitzer Prize, nine Emmy awards and a Peabody.
PARKING: Parking will be closed at City Dock and Donner Lot beginning Saturday morning and for the duration of the Festival. Free festival parking can be found at the Calvert Street Garage at 19 St. Johns Street. A shuttle will run from the corner of Calvert and Clay Streets at Whitmore Park, down to the festival at the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley memorial statue. Paid parking can be found at Hillman Garage, Gotts Garage, Knighton Garage and Park Place Garage. The free Circulator will run on a 20-minute schedule. Download the Circulator APP for Android or iPhone to track the Circulator’s current location. For detailed parking information, visit AnnapolisParking.com.
SPONSORS: Major sponsors include: the City of Annapolis, Chesapeake Children’s Museum, Global Journey for Children, Annapolis Art in Public Places Commission and Live! Casino and Hotel Maryland. Other sponsors include: The Best Voice Talent, Platinum Image Entertainment Group, Divaz Inc. Productions, Carroll H. Hynson Foundation, Global Village Trading Company, Parkinson’s Foundation Mid-Atlantic Chapter, Western & Southern Life, DRD Investigative Services and Security, Annapolis Juneteenth Celebration, Mu Rho Chapter Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc, Delicado's Annapolis Chapter, Maryland Health Connection, United Rentals, and Williams Reese & Sons Mortuary.
COVID PUBLIC HEALTH PROTOCOLS: This year’s festival will be an in-person event that will be simulcast/livestreamed on Facebook and Instagram and https://eventhub.shop/31st-annual-kunta-kinte-heritage-festival. The goal is to maintain health and safety for all participants. There will be masks, hand sanitizer and wipes provided from the Anne Arundel County Department of Health. MASKS ARE RECOMMENDED regardless of vaccination status.
For more details on the schedule of activities, performances, exhibitors and food options, please visit www.KuntaKinte.org.