Friday, November 11, 2011
Despite FBI investigation, organizers say KwanzaaFest will go on
About 50,000 people attended last year's event.
FAIR PARK KwanzaaFest will take place this year on December 10 and 11 in Fair Park, even though KwanzaaFest records were under investigation by the FBI in mid-2011. While some might think an FBI investigation was enough to squelch the community event, organizers seem to be moving forward with a schedule similar to past years.
“We weren't worried about it at all,” said Valencia Floyd, commissioner John Wiley Price's secretary, when asked if she was concerned if KwanzaaFest would still happen in 2011. “It's going to go forward as usual.”
According to a search warrant from the Northern District of Texas dated July 4, 2011, records from KwanzaaFest were part of about a dozen items to be seized from Price's residence by the FBI for an investigation. Representatives from the Northern District of Texas would not give any information about the case.
Price is the founder and chairman of KwanzaaFest and owns the non-profit KwanzaaFest, Inc. Media reports have questioned the tax forms for KwanzaaFest. No charges have been filed.
As the date for KwanzaaFest nears, scant information has been available about the festival: The event was added to the Fair Park online event calendar only after Pegasus News inquired about it with Fair Park administration and the Friends of Fair Park. Representatives from K104-FM are programming the musical talent, and they wouldn't confirm any entertainment except for Tyrese, saying that more would be released on Friday. Also, visitors to KwanzaaFest's Facebook page will find a 2010 logo still in place, and a half-dozen commenters have gone unanswered as to whether the festival would happen this year.
KwanzaaFest is an annual celebration of Kwanzaa, an African American holiday, and the Dallas festivities began in 1990. This year's festival will again be free.
Both Floyd and another representative in Price's office said “everything is the same” this year. The event will have vendors selling art, jewelry, and more, plus health screenings, a fun run, and a KidFest and TeenFest.
Floyd would not speak to the money coming into the event, but said it would be paid for through sponsorships. Sponsorships listed on the website include hospitals, radio stations, and several other big companies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Oncor is one of the companies listed, but Pegasus News has confirmed that they are not a sponsor.
Price was not available for comment.
- With Dallas Farmers Market not under city control, what happens to Pecan Lodge?
- Venue review: Three Links in Deep Ellum slings craft beer in a rockin' atmosphere
- First look: Artisan shop Weekend Coffee opens Wednesday inside Joule Hotel
- Dave Chappelle headlines Oddball Comedy festival in Dallas
- Naan Sushi in Uptown Dallas closed