Soulful Cuisine in the River District

CCECC Holds Soul Festival to Commemorate African Culture in the Dan River Region


One of the many vendors celebrating African culture on Saturday

Jackson Prebe, Staff Writer

Good food, cultural art, and soulful performances were the sight to see at the community market on Saturday, November 16th. The first Dan River Region Soul Food Festival attracted hundreds of locals interested in African and African-American culture and displays as they were served food by Soul Food Express’ catering service. The event took place from 11 AM to 2 PM and saw an attendance of over 700 people according to Tia Yancey, director of volunteerism at Averett University’s Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness.

Along with the food, the festival included numerous vendors offering wares which highlight African culture, such as artwork and handmade baskets. There were also performances from local groups at the festival, including the George Washington High School Choir, and the Children of Faith Dancers from the Salvation Army.

If you missed it this year, worry not, as Yancey does not intend for this to be the only installment of the festival. To fund this year’s festival, the CCECC obtained a sponsorship from American Evolution, an organization dedicated to “commemorating the several key historical events that occurred in Virginia in 1619 that continue to influence America today.” This being the first annual holding of the festival, Yancey will be working to obtain sponsorship in order to continue holding this festival in the future, and build upon the success achieved this year.

Yancey also accredited Danville Community College, Piedmont Community College, and History United, another organization dedicated to utilizing the rich history of the area to “encourage investment in the future of the Dan River Region and to build a strong collaborative network of organizations and individuals committed to positive change” for collaborating with Averett’s CCECC in organizing the festival.