FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Felicia Apprey-Agyare
July 1, 2015 The African LIFE
(CHICAGO) –Ghana National Council of Metropolitan Chicago along with 13 other affiliate organizations representing Ghanaians in the Chicago metropolitan area will host the annual event on Saturday July 25th from 11 am until 10 pm in Washington Park, 5600 S. Russell Drive in Chicago. The one day festival celebrates the history, authenticity and culture of the West African nation and recognizes the special bond of unity between Ghana and the United States. Ghana Fest is one of the largest showcase of African culture in the United States.
Ghana Fest is one of many events organized by the GNC and one of the most anticipated event of the year. “This year’s fest is expected to be one of the most anticipated festival’ said Emmanuel Paa Kwasi Sam, Chairman of the 2015 Ghana Fest planning Committee. “People from all over the US have been calling GNC in preparations for the Ghana Fest Weekend.”
This year has already been noted to be one of the most historic festivals. After a successful festival last year, the GNC has confirmed Ghana’s Minister of Tourism and Culture and Creative Arts is expected to attend with a large delegation comprised of Ghana dance ensemble musicians and tribal Queen mothers. High ranking members of Ghana’s government will have also been confirmed to be attending. To add to the great entertainment for the festivities Ghanaian world renowned master drummer Okyerema Asante; famous for performing all parts of a traditional five-person drum group will be there to captivate spectators. Asante is also known for playing with Paul Simon on his Graceland album. Local Ghanaian artists will also be featured.
Ghana Fest has over the years become a great annual event that depicts not only Ghana’s traditional thanksgiving celebrations, and a cultural exposition of great significance that showcases the diverse and rich Ghanaian culture to the American public and the world at-large, but also as a day for reaffirming our national unity and brotherhood. The day is filled with sights, sounds and smells of the native western coast of Africa from which it’s derives. Local chief and queen mothers, their princes, princesses, and other court members parade through the park with traditional drums beat out rhythmic melodies of their tribe. Authentic cuisine are made and sold at the park. Both the national anthems of the United States and Ghana are played, reminding attendees of the bonds that cement these two countries. The festival attracts over 5,000 participants and attendees, about 60% African, 30% African-American, and 10% Caucasian. 70% of attendees are families, 30% singles with a further breakdown of 40% male and 60% female. There is dancing, display of African artifacts and excitement, and most important of all camaraderie of spirit inherited in the annual festival. Admission is $10 at the gate.
The mission of the council is to help all Ghanaians in the Chicago Metro area discover their career potential and supporting them in making changes to bring this potential to serve the community. The GNC also aims to build or lease a Ghana Cultural Center or Ghana House where activities for the Ghanaian Community are held. The Cultural Center will also serve as a
Ghanaian community center for Ghanaian and non-Ghanaian youth social and school activities. The Center will also serve as a food pantry for the homeless in the Chicago area regardless of ethnicity.
The GNC also aims to help every Ghanaian to live comfortably and have access to all benefits and support provided by the city, state and federal government.