2012 Festival on the Avenue | Arts & Culture
- What: Sumter, South Carolina’s 2012 Festival on the Avenue a Family Friendly Cultural Arts Festival
- When: Saturday, April 14, 2012. The 2012 Festival on the Avenue kicks off with a spectacular parade which starts at the intersection of West Bartlett and South Main Streets at 10:00am and travels south along historic Manning Avenue. The Festival events and entertainment run continuously through 4:00pm. Event and performance schedules and venues TBA
- Where: Sumter, South Carolina. Along historic Manning Avenue from the South Sumter bridge south to Shannon Street.
- Cost: Free Event
- Highlights: On Saturday, April 14, the Sumter Community will once again pay tribute to the history, culture, and traditions of the South Sumter Community. The sixth annual Festival on the Avenue will celebrate the South Sumter community through performances, art displays and events which reflect both traditional African and African-American art forms.
The Saturday festival will begin at 10:00am with the renowned Festival Parade which includes local civic groups, local and regional school bands, community leaders and literally anyone who wants to join in with the fun and celebration. The parade crosses over the Manning Avenue bridge (symbolic of the theme “bridging the Gap”) and travels south along historic Manning Avenue and marks the beginning of the day-long festival which features on-going activities including music, live entertainment, art exhibitions, educational exhibits, dance, story-telling, and hands-on demonstrations by skilled artisans. Manning Avenue will also be lined with an array of on-site vendors displaying handmade goods, crafts and a wonderfully diverse selection of Sumter’s finest food vendors offering a vast array of tasty multi-cultural delights.
An objective of this family friendly festival is to promote the belief that it takes the entire community working in harmony to create and sustain healthy neighborhoods, communities and cities. Sumter’s annual Festival on the Avenue celebrates this concept by honoring the
families, churches, organizations and businesses who call South Sumter home. The festival also recognizes the people living in South Sumter and the important role that they collectively play in maintaining the vitality and energy of the entire Sumter community.
A Taste of Soul on the Avenue is a special family friendly festival event which will take place on Friday, April 13 from 6:00 to 9:00pm in the comfort of the Manning Avenue Farmers Market. The Taste of Soul will feature traditional Soul Food, live music and provide a wonderful opportunity for those attending to join together in the festive environment to celebrate the diversity of the Sumter community. The participating food vendors will provide delicious traditional southern foods including barbecue beef, pork, chicken as well as fried fish and various traditional side dishes. There will also be hot dogs and hamburgers for the children. The well-known Blythewood Jazz Orchestra will perform throughout the evening helping providing a marvelous and relaxing atmosphere for the event. The well-lit Farmers Market venue will include ample picnic tables, chairs and restroom facilities. Parking is available in the adjacent Resource Center Parking lot.
Something New: Each year the Festival adds new attractions and community-based events. The 2011 festival premiered a very important and historically relevant program titled The First. This program recognized and celebrated those individuals from Sumter’s African American Community who were the “first” of their race to accomplish major achievements and attain important positions and status not only in Sumter but throughout South Carolina and nationally. Those recognized during the 2011 festival were: The Honorable Justice Ernest Finney, III Sumter’s First African American Solicitor 3rd Judicial Circuit, Mr. James L. Felder First African American South Carolina Legislator, Dr. Leroy Bowman Sumter’s first African American Tuskegee Airman, The Honorable Chief Justice Earnest A. Finney, Jr. Sumter’s First African American Chief Justice of South Carolina, Mrs.
Dorothy Sampson Sumter’s first African American Female Attorney at Law, Mr. Terry Kinard, Sumter’s first African American NFL New York Giants Player, Mrs. Mary Arthur First African American Female Police Officer, Ms. Nicole Gamble Sumter’s first African American Olympian. 2012 festival will pay tribute to several new “first” African American individuals from the Sumter Community.
The 2012 festival will feature two new events: Festival Golf Tournament and A Night of Elegance. The Festival Golf Tournament will be played at Sumter’s Crystal Lakes golf course on Thursday April 12. The “round robin” tournament will consist of 4-player teams. Prizes will be awarded for closest to the pin, hole in one and pot of gold. The grand prize for the hole in one will be a new 2012 Camero (special rules apply). A Night of Elegance, also on Thursday, April 12, will take place at the South Sumter Resource Center. The special gala event will begin at 6:00pm and will feature The Living Museum which incorporates a series of vignettes performed by Sumter-area students. The students involved will portray famous African Americans who have influenced the course of history with their accomplishments. The excitement of seeing Jackie Robinson, Mary McCloud Bethune, Josephine Baker just to name a few will be a rewarding experience for all in attendance. After the stroll back in history, a reception with light hors d’oeuvres with pleasant conversations will highlight the event.