Hart Plaza 2022Events

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Detroit's African World Festival returns to Hart Plaza this year

The festival also will be held earlier than usual, on July 15-17

By Randiah Camille Green on Tue, May 31, 2022 

After being hosted at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History for the past several years, Detroit’s biggest celebration of African culture will return to Hart Plaza this summer.

We’re dubbing 2022 as the year of “return to Hart Plaza,” first with the Movement Festival and now the African World Festival. After being hosted at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History for the past several years, Detroit’s biggest celebration of African culture will return to Hart Plaza this summer.

The 39th annual African World Festival will also take place a bit earlier this year on July 15-17 (it's typically in August). The museum announced the new dates and glorious return to Detroit’s riverfront venue on Tuesday.

“We have wanted to bring the Annual African World Festival back to Hart Plaza for several years now to accommodate the many vendors and performers who want to participate,” Neil Barclay, the Wright Museum’s president and CEO, said in a press release. “Plus, this year our members will be admitted for free. It just made sense to bundle free admission to the weekend festival with all of the great programming we have year-round.”

Over 50,000 visitors are expected to attend the festival over three days, with more than 150 vendors selling Afro-centric art, handcrafts, food, and other wares. There will also be a fashion show, African drum and dance performances, live music, and a family-friendly area called Watoto Village.

“AWF is a special time in the Detroit community — and a favorite destination for thousands of visitors who travel from around the world and across this nation to celebrate with us. I am grateful to support the Museum in continuing this treasured tradition," said festival director Njia Kai.

While the festival is free for Wright Museum members, admission prices for non-members have yet to be announced.

For more information, see thewright.org.