This past Saturday, July 14, Headliner Market Group, in conjunction with the Southeast Overtown Park West Community Redevelopment Agency and City of Miami District 5 Commissioner Keon Hardemon, hosted the annual Overtown Music & Arts Festival. Each year the festival seems to get bigger. It was started five or six years ago. There are vendors offering everything from bbq to frozen lemonade to original artwork to custom clothing. The showcase of R&B and Gospel musicians is always a welcome treat to the neighborhood.
I have been to the festival most years; I think I was out of town one year. I enjoy the festival because it feels like home. It embarks memories of the festivals I grew up with, the Harambee and the Stone Soul Festival. These outdoor mega block parties are fantastic opportunities to run into an old friend, to see how much the children are growing, to eat some good food and sing along to some great music. Its a beautiful gathering of black folks of every shade of brown. The young and the old, the flamboyant and the laid back, everyone fellow-shipping freely.
I arrived and immediately found a refreshing drink. Miami heat, mid-day in the mid-summer, is nothing to be played with so it’s best to stay hydrated. I found a booth serving fresh pressed juices and chose a carrot, beet and stout concoction.
Walked around and noticed that they placed the stage in a totally different place this year. After looking at the food and art offered in the booths, I found a spot on NW 2nd under a huge majestic banyan tree that provided shade, a breeze and a side line view of the stage. I was able to catch the performances of Jon B., Vivian Green and Musiq Soulchild.
In between performances we chatted and joked with the folks in close proximity. The patrons were ready with their chairs, snacks and coolers. Politicians and civic organizations handed out information and complimentary items.
As I was leaving I saw this jumpsuit, colorful vertical strips, that made me do a double take, then reverse pivot, I turned around and purchased it. It’s so funky fresh I had to rock it the next day.
It is a fabulous festival that keeps alive that feeling of nostalgia that too often seems to be gone with the days of old. Shout out to the organizers for the their commitment to community. #ICU #KeepUptheGoodWork #eyesontheprize