WATERLOO – Felicia Smith Nalls expects a “sense of reunion” among festival-goers at the 11th North End Arts and Music Festival Friday and Saturday.
“It’s like, ‘Glad to see the family and to bring everyone together again.’ I think everyone is excited to be able to share again, ”said the festival president.“ People can attend for free, so just come and enjoy the art and the music, and with the parade fueling the festival, it will be an exciting weekend. “
The celebration begins Friday with a 7 p.m. gospel kickoff at the East High School Auditorium. Gospel artist Kenesha Davis will be featured, and Gabe Evans will be the opening act. Davis performed in the world premiere of the musical “The Suffragist” at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Center in Cedar Falls.
More than 13 drill teams from across the country will participate in the Summer Soul Parade starting at 10 a.m. Saturday. The parade will also include entries from local businesses and organizations.
“The level of talent of these African American teams, the precision, the polish and the costumes are incredible. It is important not only for the black community, but for the community as a whole to see this level of excellence, ”said Smith Nalls.
The parade will start at the corner of East Fourth and Donald Streets, descend East Fourth Street and turn left on Newell Street, right on Mobile Street, left on Oneida Street and end at Ferguson Fields Park, where the festival is held.