Vendors, bands, and event goers gathered at Haddad Riverfront Park on Saturday to celebrate the diversity of the region through art, music, education, cultural programs and cuisine at Multifest.
“I think that it pulls diversity from all parts of West Virginia, not just Charleston, and brings us together to celebrate,” said Sharee Fleming from Ree Creation Boutique. “It obviously supports minority businesses, which is amazing. That’s one of the main reasons why I come to these events.”
The free festival had a variety of different activities going on throughout the day, beginning with early morning yoga, an exercise program by DeAndra Lee and team, and later, “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” line dancing with Tim Wilburn.
“I came to the festival because it’s good to see people that look like me to come out to festivals like this, because I feel like, since I’ve been here, it’s been few far in between so it’s good to come out and see different cultures come together and enjoy the same things — food, music, people, and different activities,” said DeAndra Lee from Richmond, Virginia. “I’ve been [a] part of the exercise program and it’s just been overall a good time this far.”
In the afternoon, children at the festival enjoyed a kids block party featuring XA the Kid DJ from Beckley, face painting, a petting zoo and games.
Other acts throughout the day included: Kingston Price — a 3-year-old drummer, W3 Dancers, the Allen Smith Band from Bluefield, MC & DJ Woody Wood, and Lady D & Mission from Beckley.
Entertainment for later in the evening included regional headliner 69 Boyz and headlining national act Jagged Edge. The festival was followed by a fireworks display.
On Sunday, there will be opening prayers at 12:30 p.m. and praise and worship at 12:45 p.m., followed by several different sermonettes including:
- Sermonette by Rev. Letari Thompson, pastor of the Metropolitan Church in Charleston, with performances from the Father’s House Dance Youth Ministry Team and from recording gospel rapper Michael “Mike Teezy” Tyree from Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
- Sermonette by Rev. Marlon Collins, pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church in Charleston, with music from the Charleston City-Wide Youth Crusade Choir and recording southern gospel artist Patricia Spriggs from Bluefield.
- Sermonette by Rev. William Lipscomb, pastor of Restoration Praise Church in Institute, with music from the Spiritual Harmonizers Quartet Group.
- Sermonette by Rev. Paul A. Dunn Sr., pastor of First Baptist Church in Charleston, with music from the United in Christ Community Praise Team from Beckley and combined Charleston Multifest mass choirs.
National recording artist and Multifest gospel headliner Zacardi Cortez from Houston will also perform on Sunday, and in the evening, the Santa Cruz Band and headliner Howard Hewitt will take the stage.