Watts Festival

Watts Festival

August
The Watts Festival is held every August over a three-day weekend in Los Angeles. The event began in 1966 as a celebration of African-American cultural awareness, community pride, and political consciousness in the wake of the riots that took place over six days in the Watts area of the city in 1965. It also was founded as a commemoration of the 34 people who died in the disturbance. The Watts Festival is now billed as one of the longest-running African-American cultural celebrations in the United States.
The festival features 16 distinct programs: an art exhibit, business exhibits, a carnival, a children's village, community forums, concerts, food and drink concessions, a fashion show, a film festival, the Goodwill Ambassador Scholarship, a performing arts stage, a senior citizens' pavilion, social service agencies, a "Spirit of Watts" tour, a sports village, and a custom car, bike, and van show. The concerts are a highlight of the festival, and such world-class performers as Stevie Wonder, James Brown, and Nancy Wilson have volunteered their talents to the Watts Summer Festival.
CONTACTS:
Watts Summer Festival, Inc.
944 W. 53rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90037
323-789-7304; fax: 323-789-5652
SOURCES:
AAH-2007, p. 418
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parked an ice cream truck wrapped in a jeans ad at the recent Watts Festival in Los Angeles.