38th Annual African World Festival is Postponed Amid COVID-19 Concerns

The year 2020 marks what would have been the 38th Anniversary of the Annual African World Festival, hosted by the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. This family-friendly event annually occurs over a 3-day weekend and features several stages of entertainment, more than 125 marketplace vendors, over 200 vendors of authentic African and Caribbean foods, clothes, health products, visual arts, live demonstrations, and much more!

Amid the COVID-19 global pandemic, however, the Museum is officially postponing this highly attended festival from August 14 - 16, 2020, to the weekend of August 20-22, 2021. 

In its inaugural year, AWF was held at Hart Plaza in Downtown Detroit. Nearly 10 years ago, it was moved to the Museum to crowds that surpassed 125,000. As a result, and before the pandemic hit, the highly anticipated 38th Annual African World Festival, symbolically themed “The Return” was scheduled to excite crowds again, in Detroit’s Hart Plaza.

“The African World Festival is a special event in which individuals of all ages come together to celebrate the histories and cultures of the Diaspora,” says CHWM President and CEO Neil Barclay. “We believe that until it is safe for very large crowds to gather, postponing the African World Festival will save lives, in particular, those among us who are most vulnerable to the disease. We look forward to a bigger and even better event next year, and invite all of our sponsors, vendors, entertainment, and guests to join us!”

The Wright Museum’s mission is to open minds and change lives through the exploration and celebration of African American history and culture. And Still We Rise: Our Journey Through African American History and Culture — the museum’s 22,000 square foot, immersive core exhibit — is among the largest, single exhibition surveying the history of African Americans, in the nation.