When Kalim “Kai” Johnson moved to Hagerstown, Md. in 2019, he knew wanted to bring with him some of the “Brotherly Love” his hometown of Philadelphia is so famous for. Covid caused a short delay, but couldn’t derail his passion for bringing the community together with the first annual Freedom Fest.
Scheduled for Saturday, July 31, 2021, the free, day-long Freedom Fest will celebrate unity, fusing music, and food at University Plaza in downtown Hagerstown. Participating vendors will offer job opportunities and community services, such as mental health and education.
Johnson said of his vision for the day, “I wanted to create an event where there weren’t any politics involved. One with multiple genres of music and different food styles. Something fun that showcased community talent and appealed to different ethnic groups.”
The all-ages festival will feature an impressive list of entertainers with different music styles, hosted by YaGurl, Holly Marie. The live music lineup includes Hip Hop artists Ullnevano and Jay Berd and Dee Jay Jon Daily; blues veteran Pete Lancaster; singer-songwriter Emily Conrad; young country-rockers Crystalgenesis; DJ Minus Nine; rapper Dutchess Carter; Go-Go band ASAP; vocalists Mikey Jewell and Jess Brown; Reggaeton-Dancehall artist ALONSO featuring Ashley Baker AKA AshtheArtist; R&B artist Amber Marie; the soulful voice of Corey B; Justin Pitts, and more.
Impact Ministries kicks off the event with an amazing praise and worship service featuring Pastor Les and Lady Dee McIntosh. Author, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker Rousawn Dozier will share his words of wisdom as a keynote speaker.
Explore some new cuisine or chow down on some classic fare from one of the many eclectic food truck and restaurant options onsite. Food vendors include the tastes of Puerto Rican, Jamaican, Cuban, and American foods from Seasonz Food Truck; the sweet and spicy Sammy’s, overloads and rice bowls of Bella’s Bites; fresh-squeezed lemonade and iced tea from Tucker’s Pucker; Haitian and jerk chicken specialties from Ti Boutik; all things saucy and from the sea from The Krab Joint; and more.
Join in on what just might be the largest collective “Wobble” line dance in history! Community partners and event sponsors will also be onsite offering uplifting resources and job opportunities.
The Freedom Fest 2021 is presented by E.A.R.N. (which stands for Expect Amazing Results Now). E.A.R.N. was created to bring light to social injustice around African American communities and urban areas, as well as suburban and rural areas. Proceeds from the Freedom Fest will fund three $1,000 scholarships to high school students from low-income families.
WHEN YOU GO
The Freedom Fest 2021
Saturday, July 31, 2021
11:00 am – 8:30 pm
University Plaza—50 W Washington St., Hagerstown, Md.
Food available onsite
Hosted by Ya Gurl Holly Marie
Minus 9 on the 1’s and 2’s
11:00 am–12 noon: Inspirational Words with Impact Ministries
12:30–1:00 pm: Gospel/Folk hour with Jess brown:
1:15–1:45 pm: Rock/Pop with Crystalagenesis
2:00–3:00 pm: The R&B hour with Amber Marie/Mikey Jewel
3:15–4:15 pm: The HipHop hour with Jay Berd, Dee Jay Blaze Daily, Ullnevano, and Dutchess
4:30–4:45 pm: Motivational Words with Rousawn Dozier
5:00–5:45 pm: The Blues/Country Hour hour with Pete Lancaster/ Emily Conrad
6:00–7:00 pm: The Reggaeton Hour with Alonso/Ash the Artist/Selena727/BX/Alex
7:30–8:30 pm: ASAP Go-Go Band
8:30–9:00 pm: Closing remarks
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