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African American Cultural Fair returns for 10th year

The 10th annual African American Cultural Fair kicks off this week with well-known celebrities, food, rides and fun.

LANCASTER, Pa. — The 10th annual African American Cultural Fair kicks off this week with celebrities, food, rides and fun. 

The event is hosted by the African American Cultural Alliance of Lancaster. It is known to be one of the largest African-American festivals in central Pennsylvania.

“There are tens of thousands of Black and brown folks in Lancaster County and really all throughout south central Pennsylvania who are looking for a celebration like this that celebrates their history, their culture, just the things that they enjoy and treasure in our community,” Ismail “Izzy” Smith-Wade-El, State Representative for District 49 (parts of Lancaster County), said.

Jamaican artists Sean Kingston and Pastor John P. Kee are expected to make appearances at the fair this week. There will also be a number of vendors and small businesses selling and distributing food, merchandise and more. 

“We have 45 groups registered coming from Indiana all the way down to DC… We have rides, food, anything you have to celebrate Black culture,” said Smith-Wade-El. 

The African American Cultural Fair is an opportunity for people to explore the culture of Black residents in Lancaster. Smith said the idea of having a fair in Lancaster came from there not being many—or any—for people to attend in central Pennsylvania. 

“The only way you can celebrate Black culture in this area is you had to drive from Philly to Baltimore—which is why we created this, so that local people could come and celebrate with us,” said Smith-Wade-El. 

The festival will hold its annual African American Cultural Parade on Saturday, Sept. 9. The parade begins at King Elementary School and ends at the festival grounds at Reservoir Park.

“One of our biggest accomplishments is that we’re the last parade in the City of Lancaster; there’s no other parade so it’s a big milestone for us,” Smith-Wade-El said. 

Carnival ride tickets at the carnival are $1.50 per ticket, $25 for 20 tickets and $50 for 50 tickets. Pay one price carnival ride wristbands, good for unlimited rides on the day of purchase, are $30 per wristband and are available on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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