Africana (ã-fr-ï-kä’na) a three-day festival celebrating family, culture, and entertainment of the African Diaspora and the The State Farm FunkFest Beach Party ended Sunday August 30 with a bang drawing an estimated crowd of over 25,000.
Produced by NNOVACOMM, a Virginia Beach-based minority-owned marketing firm and Beachevents, The City of Virginia Beach’s entertainment operation at the Beachfront, Africana Virginia Beach 2015 and the State Farm Funkfest Beach Party is designed to provide a family-oriented, culturally-rich event-filled weekend for tourists and locals. This year’s weekend attracted visitors largely African-American families from as far as Toronto, Canada, New York City, Richmond, DC Metro and Charlotte, N.C. as well as Hampton Roads.
The featured artists did not disappoint which included Friday Night Confunkshun and the Zapp Band, Saturday Larry Graham and Graham Central Station and Sunday Earl Carter and the Myra Smith Experience. In addition several local talents shined including the Fuzz Band, Rick Elliott, Elements Band, Butcher Brown Band, Marques Hicks & the MO Band, Teens with a Purpose, Dance Dimensions and the MOSAIC Steel Pan Band. All performances were free.
New features this year included the Jazz To The Beat and Caribbean Family Reunion Beach Partiesthat added the flavor of the islands to the festival. Cultural exhibits this year again included the Culture Walk on the boardwalk from 24th Street to 31st Street that was mentioned as a cultural and educational highlight tot he weekend. Another popular feature was the appearance of Frederick Douglas brought to life by Nathan Richardson of Suffolk..
Sponsors for Africana Virginia Beach 2015 featuring the State Farm FunkFest Beach Party included The City of Virginia Beach, The New Journal and Guide, State Farm, VNF, Optima Health, Dough Boys California Pizza, Pepsi-Cola, Virginia is For Lovers, The Virginia Beach Restaurant Association, The Virginia Beach Hotel Motel Association. Media sponsors are 95.7RNB, iHeart Radio, The Charlotte Post, The Richmond Free Press, WTKR TV3, The Afro Neswpapers and WHOV 88.1 FM.
The 2016 date has already been set for August 26-28
www.africanavirginiabeach.com or call 757-593-8562.