First Afro-Fest planned in Tryon May 13

Published 2:17 pm Friday, April 21, 2017

TRYON – The first Afro-Fest will be held in Tryon on Saturday, May 13 and will include soul food, singing and martial arts demonstrations.

Tryon Town Council met Tuesday, April 18 and heard from festival organizer Steven Green.

Green introduced other organizers Tyrone and Angela Perry and said the festival will be held at the Depot Plaza in downtown Tryon. The festival will be from 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Green said participants can embrace the African culture through film, music, food and art. The Drake House will be providing soul food, Java Up will be there and local churches will be providing gospel music, Green said.

Green said the event started small and thanks to the glory of God it has grown to be bigger than what organizers initially envisioned.

“Which is a beautiful thing,” Green said. “It will be something that will bring the town closer together.”

Green said he’s not from this area but he did notice coming to Tryon that there is a disconnect.

“There is a disconnect between the African American community and the Tryon community, or surrounding communities,” Green said. “So we say that because ultimately, from a spiritual standpoint, what we’re really trying to do is to really create an image as to what Heaven will look like. Heaven will have many people of various ethnicities and skin pigmentations as well.”

Green said volunteers are still needed for Afro-Fest 2017 and also asked how organizers could obtain restroom facilities for participants. Donations are also being accepted to pay for musical performers.

Council decided to handle portable restrooms for the festival.

Commissioner Crys Armbrust asked how many people organizers are expecting to attend the festival.

Green said since it’s the inaugural event, it would be great to have 50-80 people attend, with commissioners joking they should probably plan on 800 attending.

Everyone is invited to attend Afro-Fest 2017, with the event being kid friendly and admission is free.