BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore’s popular African American Heritage Festival takes place Saturday in Druid Hill Park. It’s a departure from the usual M&T Bank Stadium location and has been scaled back in other ways, too.
Traditionally in July, the festival is in August this year, and will be one day only instead of the traditional two-day run.
At a news conference in May, Mayor Catherine Pugh explained the changes.
“I love all the festivals that we celebrate throughout the city,” she says. “The city put an awful lot of money into the African American Heritage Festival and A, the city can’t afford to do that, and B, a two-day event just got to be too expensive for the city.”
The city has spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on the high-profile event, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year.
In the past, the festival has drawn top performers and tens of thousands of visitors to downtown.
The focus this year is on local talent and vendors, and showcasing Baltimore’s own African-American community.
A spokesman for the mayor says this is a trial run and that she will re-evaluate following the festival.