The 41st Annual African Street Festival is September 15 through September 17, 2023 at Hadley Lillard Park, located at 1037 28th Avenue North in Nashville, Tennessee. Nashville’s premiere festival is hosted by the African American Cultural Alliance (AACA). This phenomenal, family-oriented immersive, 3-day cultural experience has continuously grown each year and now attracts thousands of attendees who are interested in African and African-American culture. The best part about the festival is that it is FREE.
That’s right, a free music festival, marketplace, and journey through African culture. The festival prides itself on bridging our history from Africa to Nashville. It features dance, music, drama, art, health, knowledge, food, shopping and other events. Come celebrate and explore the diversity of African and African-American cultures. Enjoy a variety of authentic cuisine and an array of live music performances including acts specializing in reggae, hip hop, jazz, gospel, blues, African drumming, spoken word, dance performances and classes.
Hadley Lillard Park is officially the new name for historic Hadley Park in North Nashville. The awesome folks at AACA are beyond excited to celebrate our culture and remember our beloved Kwame Lillard in his park. They invite you to step into a world of creativity and empowerment at Hadley Lillard Park.
“Discover the vibrant festival space filled with endless possibilities,” says Jeneene Blackman, CEO of the African American Cultural Alliance “Explore the Marketplace, enjoy live music, savor delicious food, and have a blast!”
With over 50,000 festival goers and over 120 vendors in the marketplace, they’ve been championing a powerful cultural community for the past 41 years, driven by the belief that when they provide an African cultural experience to our Nashville community it provides more impact. Now. shop the marketplace, enjoy live music, savor some yummy food and check the website for details on the event, each day’s schedule and starting times, opportunities to volunteer or even donating to the organizer.
As reported here in the PRIDE in October, 2022: The Metro Parks Board voted to approve a request to change the name of Hadley Park to Hadley-Lillard Park on July 6, 2021, noting that “Kwame Leo Lillard was a well-known and important historical figure in the Nashville civil rights movement and a lifelong advocate for social justice.” Board members said they wanted “to honor Mr. Lillard and properly recognize the history of Black Nashvillians by including him in the name of this historic park based on his contributions to the Nashville community and his deep involvement and activities in that park.”
We further noted: Opened on July 4, 1912, this 30-acre park northwest of downtown Nashville was the first in the city, and among the earliest parks anywhere in the United States to be set aside for the exclusive use of African Americans by municipal authorities. The parkland occupies the site of the former Hadley’s plantation, and the main house, from whose porch Frederick Douglass purportedly delivered an address in 1873, stood within the park until 1948.
The African American Cultural Alliance, founded in May, 1983, is committed to celebrating and connecting the extensions of Africa to America by way of education, arts, business, family and community, helping us become ONE strong. — AACA Village. Learn more at: https://www.aacanashville.com/