Heritage Festival in Staunton expands on representation

Published: Sep. 17, 2023 at 9:24 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 19, 2023 at 8:16 AM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - Staunton’s African-American Heritage Festival picks up on its 31-year run in Gypsy Hill Park. The 32nd version came with a partnership with Staunton, Augusta County, and Waynesboro Public Schools.

The efforts allowed the revived festival to expand into a multicultural festival - appreciating different colors, cuisines, and cultures.

Black-owned businesses like Sweet Treats say they were surprised and satisfied to see more of them out in the open.

“It’s good you know that we’re out here you know each other, and in our community and especially you know this day and age with all the racial things going on. I think it’s good for us to celebrate everything that we have accomplished for ourselves and in this area,” Sweet Treats Chef Niakietia Goins said.

Some attendees say they love the inclusion in time for Hispanic Heritage Month.

“It’s really special to just be celebrated for being, in a way, different and speaking multiple languages and being celebrated and not just looked at.” Isabella & Sophia Nuñez said.

The Staunton African-American & Multicultural Festival is a new look for the Queen City’s culture as a melting pot of many different cultures.

“I find it very enjoyable to see so many of us out here supporting each other, and I’m glad to see that it’s not just us Blacks out here, but I see other cultures as well,” Goins said.

The school divisions brought in storytelling, performers, and a sharing of customs from local students and families of various cultural backgrounds.

“Our hope for the future of the festival is just to keep adding to the multicultural booths, to have more people and more countries represented. I’m so proud of here to be here and talking to everybody and being so proud,” Isabella & Sophia Nuñez said.

Saturday was dedicated to the new additions and the school districts co-hosting the event with the African-American Heritage Festival Foundation. Sunday is dedicated to having gospel in the park.