Wakanda Celebration: A Day of Cultural Unity
The Wakanda Celebration, an African celebration in Mount Vernon, has been held in early September since 2018. Every single year brings with it a different experience, and this year was no exception. The Celebration, which has become one of the highlights of summer festivities in Mount Vernon, saw incredible traditional sights and a rich display of African creative imagery.
The Celebration featured a drumline procession, colorful performances, tribal singing and dancing, African drum medley, wearable art experience, African market, face painting, storytelling, and feasting as a diverse cultural showcase. Spectators danced to live African bands and recorded music; they got into the spirit of the African, ate some East African donuts, Egusi soup, pilaf, and other delicacies.
The Wakanda Celebration Market resembled a large and sprawling central market in Lagos or Zanzibar. It featuredexquisite masks with Zulu and Ashanti symbols, baskets, bags with intricately fashioned beadworks, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, timepieces, home décor, abstracted figures made from wood, ivory, to elegant sculptures from our trade partners: Luangisa market, the brownstone, Ashanti Fields Collection, Tribal Truths Collection, Africa shop, 7Principles365, Brooklyn Headline Expressions, K. I. Jewelry by Melody Burns, Eco Wrist, Mini-Moments, African Accents, Wanted Designs Face Painting, African Holistic Health Chapter, and Shailah Edmonds.
The food vendors: Chef Ed, Veggie Grub, and Out of Africa Cuisine home-style African kitchen brought the taste of Africa to the Celebration. Signature dishes included Egusi soup, pilaf, and jerk chicken. Of course, everyone wanted to get a taste of the fusion menus.
The representatives from Monroe College, Pursuit Lending, and Community Capital New York were on hand to answer questions and provide information about their organizations’ mission and goals for the community. In addition, the Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center administered COVID-19 Vaccines to eligible attendees.
The Wakanda Celebration holds a deep significance for the local Mount Vernon community and the broader African American and African community in the United States. Wakanda Celebration is grateful for the support from incredible organizations and trade partners. We delivered an event of immense cultural value due to their outstanding support from Luangisa African Gallery, Westchester County Government, ArtsWestchester, KeyBank, Community Capital New York, People’s United Bank, Pursuit Lending, Monroe College, PSCB Bank, Etain, MWF New York, and Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center.
The event was a huge success. The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive, with participants commenting favorably on the experience! Until next year!