By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The first annual Drumbeat Festival will be held this month on Saturday, August 22 at Langston University’s OKC Campus, 4205 North Lincoln Boulevard, in Oklahoma City. The free festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
With events both inside and out, the festival is an Oklahoma City extravaganza of music, dance, arts, performance, food, fun, vendors, crafts, activities and more.
“The Drumbeat Festival is a community-wide celebration of peace and unity. It’s aimed at ending violence in our neighborhoods and supporting the work of M.A.N.101 (Made Aware Now) in keeping young men out of the prison system,” said organizer Camille Landry.
The M.A.N.101 program seeks to make responsible members of the community out of people with troubled pasts, or who need mentorship on how to become a citizen.
“The Drumbeat Festival is Oklahoma City’s biggest street party of the summer,” added Landry. “We’re expecting several thousand attendees this year. This event is dedicated to ending violence in our city and showcasing the amazing talents and diversity of our community.”
The Metropolitan Library will be at the festival providing information about library services and events, giving away free children’s books, stickers, and bookmarks. There will also be a story time for the children.
Representatives from community groups such as the Oklahoma City Police and Fire Departments, EMSA, as well as health, educational and service organizations will present information on their services and programs.
Some of the metro’s favorite food vendors will be there during the Festival. Bobo’s Chicken, C-N-D’s Chicken on a Stick, Chef Ramona’s Gumbo & Greens, BBQ, street tacos, and a wide variety of other delectable faire will be available for purchase.
“Take great music, dance, spoken word, art, entertainers of all kinds, together with community leaders, local businesses and community service agencies, add in games, crafts, fun and great food from the metro’s best food trucks and restaurants, and you have the perfect recipe for a great event,” Landry stated.
The children’s area will feature crafts, storytelling, dancing and fun for the youngest attendees.
Participants will enjoy a wide array of artists and entertainers, including Jackie Jackson; Marsha Jackson as “The Real Miss Jackson;” Lotto & Breeze; the Everything Goes Dance Studio’s Flamenco Fantastico dance company; Spirit of Mexico Folkloric Ensemble; The Hip Hop Crew; and the Senior, Youth & Junior companies.
The Argentine Tango group will offer demonstrations and free Argentinean tango lessons, followed by a performance by the Tanguero team of Martha & David Wells.
Father-daughter duo Chet and Juniper Walcott will entertain guests with their banjos, guitar and traditional instruments for a stimulating mix of traditional and contemporary music that incorporates elements of folk, rock, blues and bluegrass.
Church choirs, high school bands, the Classen SAS guitar ensemble, the Dragon dancers of St. Andrew Dung Lac Catholic Church, and a variety of poets, speakers, soloists and groups will lend their talent to the festival.
In addition, vendors will be selling everything from clothing and accessories to hand-crafted goods. Free snow cones will be offered for the first 500 kids
Performing groups, vendors or organizations that are interested in participating should visit, www.DrumbeatFestival.com. Go to the “Performers” or “Vendors” link and complete the application form.
“We hope that you will be able to take part in our event this year, and experience the pride we take in our community,” Landry said.
The Drumbeat Festival is presented by Zen Events OKC.
For more information, contact the Drumbeat Festival crew at 405-240-9777, or email [email protected]