In honor of the hero of Alex Haley’s landmark “Roots” book and television series, the annual Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival celebration of “ancestry, culture and community” features song and dance, arts and crafts, vendors and food. An Annapolis tradition since the 1980s, this year’s 28th edition is set for 10 a.m.to 7 p.m. Saturday in Susan Campbell Park, at City Dock. Free. kuntakinte.org.
This year marks 250 years since the slave ship, the Lord Ligonier, arrived in Annapolis from the River Gambia in West Africa. Aboard was Kunta Kinte who was sold into slavery on October 7, 1767.
On the Live! Main Stage there will be 15 scheduled performances by musical groups, choirs, steel drummers, dancers and singers.Clones of Funk closes out the event with its 6:15 p.m. show. In between are performances by the West African dance Company Keur Khaleyi, Blaque Stone and Davonne D’Neil.
A second stage, the Anne Arundel Community College Stage will provide space for a dozen different presentations sponsored by the college — from genealogy, gardening demonstrations and singing workshops to an 11:40 a.m. presentation by Chris Haley, of the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Foundation & Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture.
At 3 p.m. on the AACC Stage the Capoeira Social Project will offer a demonstration-workshop. The group’s performance follows on the Live! Main Stage at 4:35 p.m. According to Director Justin West, “Capoeira is a martial art that is known as a dance fight since it is done to music. It’s considered a game that we play as opposed to a fight one can win. While two participants play each other, the other members sing songs in Portuguese about freedom, liberty, history and culture.”
West noted, aside from capoeira, the Capoeira Social Project will also give a presentation of Maculele, an Afro-Indian Brazilian stick or machete dance. Classes are offered at AACC.
A Children’s Activity Tent, sponsored by the Chesapeake Children’s Museum, will feature a petting zoo of chickens and goats. There will also be more world food vendors, including Jamaican cuisine, Cajun and Creole meals, plus regional favorites like ribs, fried fish, crab cakes and kettle corn. Among the arts and crafts vendors will be displays of traditional and contemporary African fashions, hand-crafted and fashion jewelry, a fashion truck, sculptures and ceramics, natural body products and additional browse-worthy items.
Also at the festival, members of the NAACP will register people to vote. Expect, also, authors and book sellers, community groups, representatives from the Anne Arundel County Department of Health and a range of fraternal and civic organizations.
The Annapolis Home and Garden Expo is billed as a one-stop shop for homeowners. Find contractors, save with show specials, meet representatives from companies specializing in home improvements and enhancements. Featuring Matt Blashaw, host of Yard Crashers. 10 a.m. Saturday, noon Sunday at The Byzantium, 2747 Riva Road, Annapolis. $5. 703-476-8422. midatlanticexpos.com
The Curious George Corn Maze opens Saturday at Maryland Sunrise Farm Get lost in more than eight acres of the former Naval Academy Farm. Activities include pedal carts, farm bowling, a corn box, a hay bale jump, a hay maze, a tire/sand area, sling shots, food trucks, kettle corn, giant log house building, a playhouse, a petting zoo, a cow train, pony rides, live animal shows, a puppet show, princess visits, face painting, rage cage soccer, pumpkins, a hayride and carriage rides. 10 a.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. Sunday at Maryland Sunrise Farm, MD-175 and Gambrills Road, Gambrills. $6-$12. mdsunrisefarm.com.
Head to West Annapolis Sunday for the annual Oktoberfest, a family friendly event that coincides with the West Annapolis Elementary School Fall Festival. The 27th annual Oktoberfest will take place along Annapolis Street and Giddings Avenue from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This street festival will include traditional German food, beer and music from an Oom-pa-pa Band. Attendees will find more than 130 arts, crafts and food vendors selling everything from bratwurst to fine art, roast beef to jewelry, and many West Annapolis clothing, antique, framing, craft and gift stores will be open for business.
Per the authentic German tradition, this festival is held in September and host Oktoberfest beers, plus food and entertainment. Parking is available in downtown parking garages, connected to West Annapolis via the circulator trolley, or at Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, an easy walk from the neighborhood. The event is a fund-raiser for the West Annapolis Business Affiliation, a non-profit designed to support the local business community. For more information, visit facebook.com/WestAnnapolisBiz/
Murals are being added to the Annapolis Design District and the Art in Action Festival will celebrate the achievement. All donations will benefit the Annapolis Design District and the SPCA of Anne Arundel County. 11 a.m. Saturday at Annapolis Design District, Virginia Street and Edgewood Ave, Annapolis. Free. annapolisdesigndistrict.com
Compiled by Rick Hutzell. Got an event you want to share? Enter it at events/capitalgazette.com/events/new
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