PORTSMOUTH, Va (WAVY) — UMOJA is Kiswahili for UNITY. This community wide gathering at the Atlantic Union Bank Pavilion and Festival Park in Portsmouth combines entertainment from contemporary and ancient art forms.
This year at the Umoja Festival, nationally acclaimed musical guests will perform jazz, reggae, gospel, and rhythm and blues. A children’s area contains games, crafts and workshops with origins in several African countries.
The festival’s closing activity features a gospel jubilee. All of the festival park performances are free and open to the public.
Friday, May 24
5:30 p.m. Opening Ceremony
6:15 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. United Souls
8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Plunky & Oneness
9:45 p.m. – 11 p.m. Kustom Made Band
Saturday, May 25
2 p.m. – 3 p.m. Michael Clark Band
3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Divas of Funk & Soul
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Absolute Fire Band
5:45 p.m. – 7 p.m. Fuzz Band
7:15 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Rajazz
9 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Dazz Band
Sunday, May 26th
2 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Jo’sef Haynes & Unified
2:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Brian Hill & Provenance
3:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Patrick Riddick
4:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. Kam Blue & Second Calvary Baptist Church Choir
5:15 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. Earl Bynum & The Mount Unity Choir
6 p.m. – 7 p.m. John Foxx & Fellowship
Throughout the grounds, there will be vendors selling ethnic foods, a marketplace of sculptures, paintings, prints, baskets, quilts and other assorted hand-crafted wares.
Free heritage tours at the Portsmouth Colored Community Library Museum and the Truxtun Historic District will be available to festival-goers on Saturday and Sunday.
Heritage Tour Schedule:
Come Freedom, Come
Saturday, May 25 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Enjoy a free 60-minute visit to the Portsmouth Colored Community Library Museum, where celebrated actress Valerie Davis brings to life the story of slave Martha Ann Fields and how her flight to freedom to Fort Monroe with her eight children affected Virginia’s history. Bus loads in the traffic circle near the City Hall parking garage. There’s a limit of 25 passengers.
Truxtun Celebrates 100 Years
Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26 4 p.m.
The Truxtun Historic District celebrates its 100th birthday this year. George Eason reenacts the role of a professional from the United States Housing Corporation, the federal agency, whose purpose was to provide housing for wartime production workers near arsenals and shipyards. Bus loads in the traffic circle near the City Hall parking garage. Limit of 25 passengers.
Meet Fredrick Douglass
Sunday, May 26 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Enjoy a free 60-minute visit to the Portsmouth Colored Community Library Museum, where historian Nathan Richardson portrays Frederick Douglass speaking about his life as a slave, writer and orator. Bus loads in the traffic circle near the City Hall parking garage. Limit of 25 passengers.
The Umoja Festival is Friday, May 24 through Sunday May 26 at the Atlantic Union Bank Pavilion.