OAKLAND — The Ninth Annual Town of Oakland Arts and Music Festival is Saturday, June 13, and will feature an abundance of audio and visual delights from 4 to 10 p.m. at Speer Park, 331 N. Tubb St.
The event is sponsored by HapCo Music Foundation. Guests are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket and relax while they take in the festival activities.
Performers LeNard Rutledge, Mud Rooster, Silkee Smoove, D’Mo Brass (Distinctive Men of Brass), Drumlines of America, Justin Felton & The PRAYze Team and local church gospel choirs will share jazz, R&B and blues music throughout the afternoon and evening. Youth groups will perform, as well, and there will be presentations of drama, dance and spoken word.
Historic Florida Highwaymen artists R.L. Lewis, Issac Knight and Mary Ann Carroll will be presenting live art.
For the hungry, food trucks will be selling drinks, meals and snacks, and there will be vendors set up for attendees looking for merchandise and services. Health Central Hospital will sponsor the healthcare zone.
Young people will have their art on display at the Expressions Sessions exhibit, which showcases work from the east Winter Garden weekly art classes.
Admission to the festival is free, but a VIP tent is available for $25 that gives guests access to light hors d’oeuvres, two drink tickets, a cash bar and air-conditioning. Elected officials have been invited to serve as celebrity hosts in the tent.
In past years, this event has been called the African-American Arts (Triple A) Festival and a Juneteenth celebration, but organizer and Town Commissioner Joseph McMullen said he and the town wanted to change the focus to be “an overall music and arts celebration” and refrain from being so exclusive.
“We’re really trying to grow this into a big community event,” McMullen said. “We’re changing the focus and changing the branding, and we want everyone to feel comfortable and have a good time. … We’re doing what we can to make this one of the major arts events that everyone will want to come out to.”