MONTCLAIR, NJ – On Saturday, the Montclair African American Heritage Foundation (MAAHF) celebrated the 26th annual Parade and Festival.
The MAAHF is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization supported by a diverse committee of volunteers who have affection for the Montclair community.
The weekend celebration kicked off on Friday night with a memories cabaret meet and greet at the George Inness Annex. Guests who attended mingled and danced the night away.
On Saturday, the parade, which began at Glenfield Park, flowed through the streets of the Fourth Ward to Nishuane Park and ending with a food and music festival.
The annual parade showcased African American culture, arts, talent, information and pride, while the Music Festival celebrated great music from local talent such as Felicia Moss-Eaton, Hillside School's Drums of Thunder, Nat Adderly, Jr Quartet, Mista B and the Boyz, NJPAC Jazz for Teens Ensemble and many others inspired through dance.
The MAAHF sponsors educational events and activities all year long leading up to Saturday’s culminating celebration. On April 4, the MAAHF raised money for scholarships through the Annual Tribute Dinner that serves as an event that honors and celebrates people who have contributed time and energy for the betterment of the Montclair community and on May 12, they sponsored a fundraiser golf classic event.
The 2015 Grand Marshals are Carrie Couram and William Ewing, Esq.
Ewing said during the scholarship dinner as he accepted his award, that growing up in Montclair was an experience unlike any other. He said, "I have had the priviledge of growing up in this town and knowing how envious others were back in the day of Montclair's reputation and what the Montclair community was all about. ...Montclair was the envy of New Jersey as a black community, but when I went across the country, I never saw anything like it."
He spoke fondly of the pride that was associated with being from Montclair and in growing up seeing black-owned businesses throught his community. "We know that Montclair was a community of sombodies, a community that didn't know how to fail and a community that stood as a model to other communities."
Each year, several community leaders called Ambassadors are also recognized for their contributions to the Montclair community. The 2015 Ambassadors include:
Martin's Home for Service
Robert "Bobby" Pine
For more information, visit www.maahf.org