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On Saturday August 18, 2018, Downtown Cambridge together with a committee of citizens present  “Groove City Culture Fest: Celebrating Black Culture”.  The festival will take place from 1:00- 7:00 p.m. on Pine Street between Cross and Washington Streets. The event is chaired by Sheila Jones, Cambridge resident and co-owner of Jones Mini Mart on Pine Street.

This event is a revival of a Black Culture Day originally organized July 6, 1974, also organized by a committee of citizens.  In 1974 the event began with a parade and included speakers, a play, dancers. On that day in 1974 Ms. Gloria Richardson’s Dandridge was honored with a plaque.

This year’s event will showcase the history and culture of the African-American community, taking place in the heart of the historic African-American community, Pine Street. Attendees will enjoy live music – including a performance by the band E.U. (Experience Unlimited) – dance performances, inspirational speakers, food, vendors, and much more. The festival is free to the public.

The event will also feature a Yock cook-off, the first of its kind in the region.   Eight local competitors known for their expertise with this dish will face off for the title of Best Yock Dish 2018. A 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winner will be announced at the event awarded bragging rights and a nominal cash award.  To taste and vote for your favorite Yock dish from all the entries, you must purchase a ticket. Advance tickets are available at downtowncambridge.org for $15 or on the day of the event based on availability for $20.

“Yock” is a noodle based dish with a tangy and sometimes spicy sauce.  It is usually combined with pork or chicken, but on the Eastern Shore you might find it with seafood. Yock almost always includes a boiled egg. The dish is considered a delicacy in the African-American community is is most prominent associated with communities in the south.

Downtown Cambridge, and non-profit “Main Street” organization, adds “Groove City Culture Fest” as its third open-air street festival throughout the year. “Festivals are an important part of our activities because they can be a catalyst for economic and community revitalization” shared Katie Clendaniel, Executive Director for the organization. “They attract community enthusiasm, investment, and economic vitality in streets and corridors that need them. We have seen great success of similar fastivals in other parts of downtown and we hope this event could potentially have a similar effect for Pine Street.” Each Downtown Cambridge festival is financially supported by area sponsors and organized by a team of volunteers.

The Groove City Culture Fest is proudly sponsored by the Dorchester Elks Lodge #223 and the musical performance by E.U. is sponsored by Eastern Shore Network for Change. Sponsors for live entertainment are welcome and may contact event organizers at culturefest@downtowncambridge.org for more information. More information about the event can be found HERE.