11 umojaThe Umoja Group Inc. presents its 27th Annual Umoja Festival Saturday, Aug. 24, from 12-5 p.m. at Seabrook Park. The health fair portion will be from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 

“This is our 27th year, said Wanda Wesley, co-coordinator for the Umoja Group. “We are having a community family festival and health fair. So, we are partnering again this year with Cape Fear Valley’s Take Charge of Your Health Program, and they are offering free health screenings. The health part will be inside the Smith Recreation Center and one side of the center will be full of community resources that are health related that support families and children and the other side will be the actual medical doctors and technicians to do more in depth screening for individuals.”    

The word “umoja” means unity. The purpose of the festival is to bring the community together to celebrate arts, crafts and the culture of the community and to share informational and educational opportunities.     

“For the actual festival that kicks off at 12 p.m., we will have entertainment, a proclamation from the city, a special tribute to the elders and there will be a special tent for the senior citizens to sit under so they will be more comfortable,” said Wesley. “One thing about the Umoja Festival that makes it so unique to me is that it is kind of intergenerational, which means we have things for little kids as well as older adults and senior citizens.” 

 Wesley added that the festival will feature a climbing wall from The Climbing Place, and will include the Tokay Rockers, E. E. Smith’s Marching Band, the Chrome Knights Motorcycle Club, antique cars, African storytellers, the NAACP, drummers, a talent show and food, arts and crafts vendors.           

“The Chrome Knights Motorcycle Club supports families in the community,” said Wesley. “They have adopted five schools — Ferguson Easley Elementary, T. C. Berrien Elementary, Margaret Willis Elementary, Westarea Elementary and Walker- Spivey Elementary School,” added Wesley.

She also noted, “What they do is … raise money to support those schools. Over the past three years they have donated over $8,000 in cash and supplies to the children in those schools.”   

There will be free health screenings for the uninsured and underinsured to include blood pressure, diabetes and body mass index readings as well as lung function tests and blood typing. 

“What I really like about this festival is that it is in the community that we support,” said Wesley. “We look forward to everyone coming out to support this great community event.”

The event is free and open to the public. Donations are appreciated. For more information or vendor inquiries call 910-485-8035. 

The word “umoja” means unity. The purpose of the festival is to bring the community together to celebrate arts, crafts and the culture of the community and to share informational and educational opportunities. 

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