ANAHEIM, Calif. (Jan. 21, 2020) — Celebrate 40 years of commemorating the history and contributions of African Americans in Orange County on Saturday, Feb. 1 at the annual Orange County Black History Parade & Cultural Faire in downtown Anaheim.
The parade starts at 10 a.m. near Anaheim Boulevard and Lincoln Avenue, then goes down Anaheim Boulevard to Vermont before looping around back up to Center Street Promenade, where a street fair with food, boutique booths, music and festivities is held.
For the first time, this year the festivities will start with a pre-parade show and celebrity meet and greet in front of Anaheim City Hall at 9 a.m.
This year’s parade grand marshals are actresses Judy Pace and Lisa Raye. The parade will include more than 50 marching bands, equestrian units, community groups, celebrity guests, car clubs, motorcycle clubs, college groups and more.
After the parade, head to Center Street Promenade for the cultural faire, featuring food, boutique booths, a college fair, classic car show, music festival and other fun.
There’s even more music this year, with headliners including Derek Bordeaux Group, Charles Wright Soul and more.
The cultural faire starts at noon and goes to 5 p.m.
The event kicks off with the opening of a special exhibit at Muzeo Museum & Cultural Center at 8 a.m.
The exhibit, called “Celebrating Our Heritage, Embracing Our Past & Building Our Future: 40 years of the Orange County Black History Parade & Cultural Faire,” showcases photos and memorabilia from the parade since it began in 1980.
Can’t make it to the parade or missed the date this year? You can still see the exhibit through Feb. 29. More at Muzeo.org.
There will be a special blessing ceremony at 8 a.m. to open the exhibit and give community members a chance to see it before the parade starts.
Started by community matriarch Helen Shipp, the parade was a way to bring the community together and celebrate African American history and culture.
Special guests and grand marshals over the years include Yolanda King, Garry Templeton, Robin Harris and Mickey Mouse.
Since its start, the parade has grown exponentially in size and popularity. The cultural faire was added as a way to continue the celebration after the parade.
The parade moved to Anaheim in 2011, because Anaheim has the largest African American population in Orange County.
Anaheim is home to about 11,000 African-American residents, or about 20 percent of Orange County’s black population, according to numbers from the Census.
The yearly event now brings some 8,000 people together along Anaheim Boulevard.
For more, visit the Orange County Heritage Council at Oc-hc.org.
For more on the city of Anaheim, please visit Anaheim.net.