African American Festival set for Saturday in Dover


DOVER— In its 25th year the “Positively Dover” African American Festival hopes to continue to bring everyone together for a good time.

The festival is set for Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Legislative Mall.

Organized and sponsored by the Dover-based Inner City Cultural League and founded in 1991 by former Dover City Councilman Reuben Salters and state Rep. Donald Blakey, R-Dover South, the festival is dedicated to the ancestors of Delaware African-Americans.

Reuben Salters, of Dover, helped organize the first African American Festival in Dover in 1991. (Delaware State News file)

Reuben Salters, of Dover, helped organize the first African American Festival in Dover in 1991. (Delaware State News file)

“It brings out people every year,” Mr. Salters said. “People know what to expect. It’s a tradition.

“Sometimes people have family reunions out here. It’s always a great time for people.”

Scheduled activities include face painting, a moon bounce, cultural displays with artifacts and presentations of African-American heritage.

The schedule this year includes the Comfort Zone Jazz Band, Trinidad and Tobago Steel Band, the Wilmington Youth Jazz Band, the Christian Travelers, the Sankofa African Dance Company, Fastina Dixon’s Winds of Change Jazz Band and Dover’s own hip-hop group FlowCity.

It will also include pioneer Philadelphia soul singing group The Delfonics.

Its most notable hits include “La-La (Means I Love You)”, “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)”, “I’m Sorry”, and “Ready or Not Here I Come (Can’t Hide from Love)”.

Around 100 to 110 vendors are expected at the festival, selling jewelry, paintings, soap and other crafts.

“There are plenty of spaces for vendors,” Mr. Salters said. “It’s not too late to register, as the last day to do so is on the spot the day of the festival at around 8 or 9 o’clock.”

In light of the shootings that have occurred in the city and media attention regarding civil and social unrest amongst African-American across the country, Mr. Salters said he hopes the festival will bring positivity to those situations.

“We’re not here to prove any point,” Mr. Salters said. “We just want to bring people together and not drive them apart.”

Mr. Salters said the festival is an excellent meeting place for all ethnic groups to exchange cultural and artistic experiences and create a more diversified, tolerant and respectful attitude toward one another.

Councilman David Anderson agreed.

“It’s for everyone,” he said during Monday night’s City Council meeting. “It’s a celebration of cultures. It’s not anything that’s exclusive. It’s for all people that want to come and enjoy a great time. It’s a fun experience.”

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