5 things to do at this weekend's African American Arts Festival in downtown Canton

Ed Balint

The Repository

Published 12:12pm ET July 20, 2022| Updated 2:59pm. ET July 20, 2022


CANTON – The African American Arts Festival is back for its second year at a new location.

The event, which features live music, dancing, drumlines, artwork, children's activities and other entertainment, will be from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at Centennial Plaza on Market Avenue between Third and Fourth Street NW.

A welcome ceremony is at 11 a.m. Friday.

While the event celebrates the arts heritage of the African-American community, the festival is open to all, said Betty Smith, executive director of the EN-RICH-MENT Fine Arts Academy in Canton.

EN-RICH-MENT presents and coordinates the event, which also includes vendors selling crafts, clothing and other items, as well as exhibitors.


Local artists will be featured at 4 p.m. Saturday.

"I want to showcase the artists, I want to showcase the singers, dancers, drummers and genres of music," Smith said. "We're going to have R&B, hip-hop, gospel, reggae and rap.

"It's for everybody because we just don't have African Americans on the stage."


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There's also Zumba at 10:30 a.m. and yoga at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Dancing in the Plaza is at noon, followed by the EN-RICH-MENT Dance Co. at 1:30 p.m.

Here's a look at five things to do at the event:

Josh and Maria Cribbs

Josh Cribbs, a former Cleveland Browns player, and his wife, Maria, will be guest emcees from 5 to around 8 p.m. Saturday.

SMOOSH ice cream sandwiches

SMOOSH Cookies will be at the festival from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday serving custom ice cream sandwiches from its truck.


Drums, drums, drums

Anyone who is familiar with the Canton-based EN-RICH-MENT Fine Arts Academy knows of its talented youth drumline, which will perform both days of the festival.


Gregory Watkins and The Unit Band

Live music will be featured throughout the festival.

Highlights include Gregory J Watkins and The Worship & Praise Chorale at 8:30 p.m. Friday and the Unit Band at 8 p.m. Saturday.


5K run and remembrance walk

New are the 5K run or walk and a one-mile remembrance walk for those lost to COVID.


To read the full story from the canton rep click here.


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