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City of Alexandria to Hold Annual African Heritage Cultural Festival

July 20, 2009

News Highlights:

  • The Ambassador of Angola to the United States, her Excellency Josefina Pitra Diakite, and the Honorable William D. Euille, Mayor, will officially open the festival, which features performances and displays showcasing traditional African arts, crafts, paintings and souvenirs.

More Information:

The City of Alexandria will host the African Heritage Cultural Festival on Saturday, July 25, from 1 to 7 p.m., at Market Square, 301 King St. The country of Angola will be featured throughout the day in conjunction with the Embassy of Angola, Washington, D.C. The festival is free and will be held rain or shine.

The Ambassador of Angola to the United States, her Excellency Josefina Pitra Diakite, and the Honorable William D. Euille, Mayor, will officially open the Festival. The country of Angola will have a presence throughout the day with a performance of traditional dance; poetry and songs of Angolan artists by Angolan Children and a fashion show representing the 18 provinces of Angola. In addition, there will be an exhibition and sale of Angolan art by Pedro Quissanga, and Angolan artist, Nelson Costa.

Featured performances include the Prince William County Players, SAMO’O and the band JFC, with Caribbean sound; Elikeh, Afro funk music; Phaze II Jazz; and Nu-Era with contemporary R & B. In addition, the festival features youth performances by Recreation Center participants, Church groups and other local young talent.

The festival will also feature displays showcasing traditional arts, crafts, paintings, and souvenirs on Market Square. Films will be shown in the Vola Lawson Gallery inside City Hall. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

Alexandria African Heritage Tours will be offered between 10 a.m. and noon, originating from the Lee Center, 1108 Jefferson St. For additional information and to make a reservation, call 703.838.4844 by Friday, July 24. 

The City’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities and the African Heritage Cultural Festival Committee are cosponsoring the festival. 

Visitors are encouraged to take the Metro Yellow or Blue lines to the King Street Station in Old Town and take the King Street Trolley, take DASH or Metro Buses, or park in one of the convenient parking garages or lots. For DASH schedule information, call 703.370.DASH or visit For Metrobus schedule information, call 202.637.7000 or visit
The City of Alexandria is committed to compliance with the City’s Human Rights Code and the Americans with Disabilities Act. To request a reasonable accommodation or to request materials in an alternative format, call Cheryl Lawrence, Special Events Supervisor, at 703.838.4844 (TTY 703.838.4902) or e-mail
For additional information, call the City’s Special Events Hotline at 703.883.4686 or visit