August 5-11, 2004
Last week, people cheered as Barack Obama delivered a captivating speech at the Democratic National Convention stressing the importance of community involvement and overcoming obstacles. Sixty-two-year-old Frank Jones had both these goals in mind when he and his pastor founded the People's Festival at historic Vernon Park in Germantown. "Times can get depressing out here," says Jones. "I wanted to provide an outlet of relief." Now in its 26th year, the two-day event combines music, poetry, arts, crafts, health exhibits and a good dose of soul and Jamaican food. For the event this weekend, there are over 20 confirmed acts, including The Frank Jackson Orchestra, a 14-piece senior-citizen ensemble. Also returning for a soultastic performance is Temple of Funk, the R&B band made up of 39th District police officers and firefighters. Independent author Shamora Renee will be signing copies of her debut book, Moodswings, a collection of poetry, short stories and inspiring lessons. Attendees will find activities and booths for the whole family. This time around, the People's Festival will pay special honor to gifted bass player Rick Tate Sr., who always found time to give back to others before his passing in January. "This event and community have been good to me, not so much in dollars and cents, but in feelings," Jones comments. "This is strictly for the people."
26th Annual People's Festival, Sat.-Sun, Aug. 7-8, 1-9 p.m., free, Vernon Park, Germantown and Chelten aves., 215-308-4292.