By Sina Gebre-Ab

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Druid Hill Park was full of energy and excitement amid Juneteenth celebrations this weekend.

Nearly 200,000 people attended the 2022 AFRAM festival at the park to celebrate Black culture in Baltimore. 

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WJZ was a media sponsor of the festival.

There was no shortage of noise as tens of thousands of people filled Druid Hill Park for the return of AFRAM.

“This is my first time here,” Brandy Bush said of the festival. “I’m loving the environment . . . I’m actually enjoying it, and it hasn’t even started yet.”

Dorothy Witherspoon said she was glad to attend the festival, which reduced its footprint during the pandemic.

“First time here in a long time and I’m really enjoying it,” she said.

The festival featured the best of Baltimore—bigger and better than ever—from businesses to A-list artists.

“I make all of my bags from raw wood to the end product or leather to the end product,” Karen Maxwell, the owner of Kema’s, said.

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Alphonso Ellior Jr., the owner of Bmore Icy, said he enjoyed the festival ambiance.

“I’m from Baltimore and I love my hometown,” Ellior said. “And I love what I do.”

The festival’s A-list artists ranged from The O’Jays to Le’Andria Johnson.

“We need it,” Dorothy Witherspoon said of AFRAM. “We need it—some positive information—to show our younger generation what we can really do when we all come together as one.”

Marie Askew of Angelo and Marie’s Fantastic Bubble Show said the family environment was enjoyable.

“It was great to see the families together—the fathers and the mothers and the children—just having a great time.” 

The weekend shows the year-round potential of Baltimore.

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“This is the best way for us to show who we can be. The peace. The love. The unity,” Mayor Brandon Scott said. “And if we can do it for AFRAM, Juneteenth, Father’s Day weekend, we can do it every day.”

Sina Gebre-Ab