Black Expo’s Summer time Fest returns to link businesses, residents | Organization

ANDERSON – By mid-afternoon Saturday, a several of the extra than two dozen vendors at the Anderson Black Expo’s Summertime Festival experienced decided to pack up their tents and depart Jackson Park.

But persistent showers that at instances intensified into downpours did little to dissuade the hundreds of folks who continued to mingle and sample foods from area and regional places to eat. The working day-very long party also involved a spades event, a manner clearly show and live musical amusement.

The Madison County Well being Department was also on hand offering COVID-19 screening and vaccinations as effectively as blood stress screenings, cholesterol checks and other slight healthcare exams.

“We never have far too a lot of issues that we can appear forward to on the west aspect of Anderson, so we value the Black Expo putting this celebration on every single yr,” reported Betty Williams, general public relations director for the Anderson Madison County Black Chamber of Commerce. “I think it’s crucial to absolutely everyone both of those Black and white, Hispanic, to come out and rejoice with them on their achievements and what they are seeking to do to enhance the group.”

Numerous of the booths established up close to the perimeter of the park’s large, grassy clearing were manned by Black business enterprise proprietors who acknowledged a feeling of duty for showing support to their counterparts. Some explained they’ve been attending the festival for a lot more than a decade.

“I bear in mind coming listed here as a younger Black kid with my father who started out the business,” reported Chet Maxey, who with his loved ones co-owns Ribs Express, a soul food items restaurant and catering firm in Anderson. “It’s terrific seeing the same factor, young little ones out here making deals with other vendors and studying people business enterprise skills that will with any luck , assist them possibly operate their very own company just one day.”

Kalicia Patterson and her co-employee, Brandi Leonard, had a booth established up to recruit probable staff for Meijer, which is partnering with a number of companies domestically in trying to diversify its workforce at its Anderson shop, as effectively as others in Muncie, Marion and Noblesville.

“We want to make confident the group knows that we’re here,” Patterson stated. “Our concentration is diversity and inclusion, so it is about just bringing all people collectively.”

Obtaining been in business for himself for about 7 a long time, Shawn Corridor of Muncie has created the Black Expo Summer Competition a frequent cease on the checklist of have to-visit functions for his dessert store, Danielle’s Funnel Cakes.

“We go across Indiana and all about carrying out diverse festivals, and this is a big a person for us,” he stated. “I’m really acquainted with Anderson, and it generally has been a business enterprise-pleasant city.”

Williams explained that having the Summertime Festival back soon after past year’s pandemic-prompted hiatus is significant for the city’s initiatives to revitalize enterprise and social prospects on the west side.

“To see this numerous individuals out in this article in the rain, that is telling us that they are wanting this to take place,” Williams stated. “They are all set for something on the west side to be happy of and to search forward to.”

Observe Andy Knight on Twitter @Andrew_J_Knight, or phone 765-640-4809.