The Cotton Avenue Coalition will the host the Cotton Avenue Revival Festival, a free public celebration of the legacy and revitalization of downtown Macon’s illustrious black business district Saturday, March 25 from 12:30-7pm and Sunday, March 26 from 1-3 pm. Sanctioned as an International Cherry Blossom Festival event, this festival is made possible thanks to the generosity of the Downtown Challenge Fund of the Community Foundation of Central Georgia. The Cotton Avenue Coalition won the grant to host the Festival as part of its ongoing efforts to draw awareness to the district’s historical significance and its rich assets. The Coalition is also working to designate Cotton Avenue as a local historic district as a proactive measure for preserving the buildings of the area.
The site of the Cotton Avenue Revival Festival will be downtown Macon’s Forsyth Street, originally known as Cotton Avenue. The street will be closed to traffic on Saturday, March 25 between Spring Street and New Street, set up with a stage featuring live music in front of H&H Restaurant from the following performers:
12:30pm-12:45pm Festival Kick-off
12:45pm-1:15pm Fort Valley State Concert Choir
1:20pm-1:45pm Tubman Museum Percussion Performance and Community Drum Circle
2pm-3pm Central High School Performing Arts Ensemble
3:10pm-3:30pm Cassandra Calloway Youth Dancers
3:35pm-4pm Fraternity Step Show
4:15pm-5:15pm Groove Gumbo Jazz Band featuring Richard Owens
5:30pm-6:45pm Dean Brown’s Dub Shak Band featuring Blak PearL
Additionally, guided walking history tours will be held at 2pm and 4pm on Saturday, and open house tours will be offered throughout the festival by four historic downtown churches - Steward Chapel AME Church, First Baptist Church on New Street, Washington Avenue Presbyterian Church, and Holsey Temple CME Church on Washington Avenue.
The Cotton Avenue area has played a significant role in the educational, historic and cultural advancement and development of the African American Community for decades,” stated Alex Habersham, owner of the Macon Black Pages. “It is extremely important that we commemorate the past and exert continuous effort to restore and advance it for the future.”
The Festival will end with a closing ceremony at Steward Chapel AME Church, 887 Forsyth Street, at 1pm on Sunday, March 26. The public is encouraged to attend a service at one of the four historic churches. All events are free and open to the public.
The Festival will occur rain or shine. In the case of inclement weather, all activities will be moved indoors to Steward Chapel AME Church. More information about the Festival can be found at www.cottonavenuecoalition.org.
About Cotton Avenue Coalition
The Cotton Avenue Coalition consists of Historic Macon Foundation, the Macon-Bibb County Commission, the Macon Convention and Visitors Bureau, Macon Black Pages, Ruth Hartley Mosley Memorial Women’s Center, First Baptist Church, Holsey Temple CME Church, Steward Chapel AME Church, and Washington Avenue Presbyterian Church. All of these community partners are invested in the preservation and revitalization of Macon’s historic African American business district. Each partner brings a unique perspective regarding the religious, social, and economic life of the area. For more information, visit cottonavecoalition.org.