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Fifth Avenue Arts Festival celebrates musical legends


The 34th annual Fifth Avenue Arts Festival will kick off Friday and feature dancers, musicians and poetry.

Hosted by the Cultural Arts Coalition, the two-day celebration will highlight the African American culture of the Fifth Avenue neighborhood in Gainesville. The festival will begin at 6 p.m. Friday at the A. Quinn Jones Center, a historical landmark in the community located at 1108 NW 7th Ave.

Nkwanda Jah, director of the Cultural Arts Coalition and coordinator and founder of the festival, said this year’s theme is “Leaving a Legacy.” The festival will focus on the musical legends of the Fifth Avenue community.

Headlining the event is The Main Ingredient, an old-school group including Cuba Gooding Sr., most known for their 1972 hit, “Everybody Plays the Fool.”

“Our festival tries to preserve our history through music and dance,” Jah said. “I like that. I also like being able to do the festival to celebrate Earth Day, which is right after the festival.”

Saturday and Sunday’s festivities will take place on the corner of Northwest Fifth Avenue and Northwest Sixth Street.

Southern Charm Kitchen will provide food and other performers include the Lost Safari Drummers.

In addition to dancers and musicians, poets will share history about the Fifth Avenue community.

“It’s a time to educate the community and a time to bring recognition to the rich cultural area of this community,” Jah said.

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