Festival History
 

The inaugural Festival was held on September 4 and 5, 2010 and exceed everyone's expectations, with more than 15,000 in attendance. The 2011 Labor Day Festival brought more than 23,000 people downtown and featured two dozen juried artists and vendors, a Family Village with crafts and entertainment geared toward children, and local and national musical acts on the Main Stage on City Plaza.

The festival program plan was developed under the auspices of the African American Cultural Festival Governing Board, whose members were appointed by the Wake County Board of Commissioners and Raleigh City Council in August 2008.  Both elected bodies charged the Governing Board with creating a major festival that would become a major tourist destination event.  In May 2009, Artsplosure—the presenter of its namesake spring arts festival each May, First Night Raleigh on New Year’s Eve, and other arts programming—was contracted to provide planning, organizational, and financial expertise, among other essential service.

 
    
  Governing Board
 
James Roberson
Chair
...............................
Senior Dean, Wake Tech Community College - Western Wake Campus
Yvette Holmes
Vice-Chair
.......................
Director of Community Partnerships and Development, DHIC, Inc.
Lawrence Fleming
Treasurer
.......................
Retired, Progress Energy
Eugene Weeks
Ex Officio
.......................
Councilor, City of Raleigh
James West
Ex Officio
.......................
Commissioner, County of Wake
David Baker.................... Attorney
The Law Office of David K. Baker
Eric Harris....................... VP for Business Development
OASYS Information Services, Inc.
Travis Mitchell................. President
Communities in Schools Wake County
Ray Moncrieffe................. CPA
Stancil & Company
Paul Norman................. Counselor
Wake Tech Community College - Northern Wake Campus