EUSTIS — Thousands of people are expected to attend the 15th Annual Eustis African-American Heritage Festival on Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Eustis High Curtright Campus, located at 1801 Bates Ave.
As the oldest African-American heritage festival in Lake County, the event is more than just a one-day get-together. The festivities begin Sunday, Feb. 10, at 6 p.m. with the Nubian Pageant at the Eustis Community Center, located at 601 Northshore Drive, and continue on Friday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. with the 10th Annual Black Achievers’ Award Banquet at the community center. This semi-formal gala honors current and former Eustis resident achievers. Suggested donation for admission into the banquet is $25.
"Individuals that have made a significant contribution to themselves, the community and others are selected to be recognized," said Nicie Allen Parks, public relations officer for the Eustis African-American Heritage Committee. "The announcement is sent out to churches and the community, and citizens recommend people for the honor who have really achieved greatness. Two of those honored are outstanding students from Eustis High School."
On Feb. 16, the Eustis African-American Heritage Parade begins at 10 a.m., as entries in the parade will march along Bates Avenue ending at the Eustis High Curtright Campus. The end of the parade signals the beginning of the Annual Eustis African-American Heritage Festival from 12 to 4 p.m. The festival features soul food, cultural exhibits, African art, crafts, entertainment and activities for children. About 75 vendors are expected at the event, including booths sponsored by community and health services, which will provide information about the help they provide to the community. A variety of musical entertainment is provided at the festival, such as gospel groups featuring rap, R&B, jazz and blues music.
"This is an all-day party celebrating our heritage,” said Carla Mitchell, president of the organization. "It’s a festival of harmony. Many former Eustis residents plan their vacation around this time to come back home for this event."
For more information about the festivities, contact Mitchell at (352) 589-6448.