'We are creative people': Hundreds attend African American Cultural Festival in Downtown Raleigh

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Sunday, September 4, 2022
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Hundreds of people attended the African American Cultural Festival in Downtown Raleigh Saturday.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Hundreds of people attended the African American Cultural Festival in Downtown Raleigh Saturday.

The two-day festival has become Raleigh's premiere destination for teaching, sharing and celebrating traditions of African Americans.

Many attended the festivities Downtown for the music, food and arts, but festival goer Vanessa Hunt said she was there for the experience.

"To see the culture, and the vendors. The people. The music. Have some fun," she said.

This year is the first-time the festival has returned since the start of the pandemic.

"To me, it gives me the opportunity to express my art, especially since my primary medium is African textiles," vendor Laquandra Ballen said. "I'm just kind of a textile artist. It starts in my head, and I begin to build it out."

Ballen owns LQ Ballen collections and is one of the dozens of vendors at the festival. Brought to tears, she said the African American Cultural festival is special because it introduces people to creators and artist just like herself.

"I think it is an opportunity to see us. Who we are as a people," Ballen said. "I think about black and brown people, and when they walk away from the festival, I want them to think, 'Wow, we are creative people.'"