Nov. 16, 2005
The upcoming 13th annual Kwanzaa Festival at HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College, is a great opportunity for the community to understand the principles of Kwanzaa and aspects of African-American culture.

The Kwanzaa Festival Dec. 3, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., will be held in the Cooper Student Center at HACC's Harrisburg Campus across from the Farm Show Complex. It is open to the community, and admission is free. Children are welcome, and there will be activities especially for them from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Music, dance, food, storytelling, a fashion show, ethnic merchandise marketplace, health screenings, and a candle-lighting ceremony will highlight the Kwanzaa Festival, along with presentation of the sixth annual Harambee Recognition Awards and the KARAMU celebratory feast following the awards ceremony.

"As we celebrate our 13th Kwanzaa festival at HACC, we continue to embrace and share the seven principles of Kwanzaa," said Patricia Thompson, festival coordinator. "The festival serves as a forum for local African-American entrepreneurs and organizations to showcase their talents and ethnic merchandise. It's an ideal event for families, as the activities can be enjoyed by adults and children alike."

Festivities will begin with a candle lighting ceremony at 10 a.m. led by a group of HACC students along with performances by Harrisburg's Black Achievers Gospel Choir and the Signs of Love from St. Paul's Missionary Baptist Church. The Kwanzaa Awareness ceremony will be followed by presentation of the sixth annual Harambee Recognition Awards.

Special guest Valerie Pritchett, weekend news anchor/reporter, WHTM-abc27, will be mistress of ceremonies.

"We continue to practice UJIMA (collective work and responsibility) by working closely with HACC's Multicultural Affairs office, a sponsor of the festival, and partnering with local organization Life Esteem to honor seven community members and/or groups who each exemplify one of the principles of Kwanzaa.

"The Sixth Annual Harambee Recognition Awards program is solidly engrained as a part of our Kwanzaa Awareness Program and Festival," said Thompson.

"HACC's Office of Multicultural Affairs is proud to help sponsor this 13th. Kwanzaa Festival," said Robert William, interim director. "I have a personal appreciation for the seven principles of Kwanzaa. It's a great way to learn about Kwanzaa and have fun."

Chris Franklin, president, Handles Entertainment, LLC, who coordinates the Ultimate Spin Basketball Camp at HACC in July, will receive the Umoja (unity) award; David Waters, entrepreneur, the Ujama (cooperative economics) award; and Maritza Melendez, Life Skills instructor/facilitator, the Kujichagulia (self-determination) award.

Hamilton Health Center, Inc., Jeannine Peterson, president & chief executive officer, will receive the Ujima (collective work and responsibility) award; and Jason Moffitt, Tobacco coordinator, Executive Commission on Drug and Alcohol Services, the Nia (purpose) award.

Nancy Mendes, artist illustrator, PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, will receive the Kuumba (creativity) award; and Christian Churches United, Jacqueline Rucker, executive director, the Imani (faith) award.

Vera Cornish, President, Cornish and Associates, will be honored with the overall Kwanzaa award.The schedule for the rest of the day includes Jazz with Jimmy Wood and Friends at noon, Phierce Hip Hop Dancers at 1:30 p.m., Writer's Wordshop at 2 p.m., Imani-Edutainers African Dance Company of Lancaster at 3 p.m., a fashion show by ABW Productions at 4 p.m., and a performance by the Southside Steppers from Crispus Attucks in York at 5 p.m. DJ Brian Thompson will provide musical interludes from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Children's Corner will be open on the second floor of Cooper Student Center in room 204 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. HACC art students will offer face painting from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Linda Dale of HACC's Rose Lehrman Arts Center will offer crafts from 11 a.m. to noon and 1 to 2 p.m. Superreader Floyd Stokes will share the importance of reading to the children with his wonderful stories at noon.

Free health screenings will include blood pressure by HACC nursing students, glaucoma by the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind, and cancer by the Central Pennsylvania Oncology Group. Screenings also will be offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Hamilton Health Center.

Information may be obtained by calling Kwanzaa event coordinator Pat Thompson at HACC, 717-780-2632, or by sending an email at the address below.

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