The 7th annual Spirit & Soul Festival returns to downtown Richmond on Saturday in order to celebrate and encourage improvements along the corridor.
The event, which features live entertainment and an outdoor bazaar with artisan and craft vendors and food booths. runs from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Macdonald Avenue between Harbour Way and 13th Street. This year’s festival includes performances from the 2015 winners of the SF Carnival Festival, SambaFunk! and the Funkquarians, along with jazz, soul and R&B drummer Rene Escovedo & the Fuze, soul diva Nicole “Buttah” Pearson & the Buttaluv Band, and guitarist Kenya Baker & the Kenya B Trio.
Proceeds from beverage sales and a silent auction will benefit the Richmond Main Street Initiative (RMSI), the nonprofit spearheading a City Council-approved effort to improve downtown.
At the festival, several people will be honored for helping to support revitalization efforts downtown, including City Manager Bill Lindsay.
“The City Manager’s office played a significant role in helping RMSI pass the first Property Business Improvement District in the City of Richmond,” said Amanda Elliott, executive director of RMSI. “His visionary leadership has helped to change the narrative of Richmond and sparked key investment opportunities.”
Other award recipients are Andrea Bailey, Chevron Community Engagement Manager, Najari Smith, downtown merchant and founder of Rich City Rides and Andromeda Brooks, community volunteer and Happy Lot Farms manager.
The Spirit & Soul Festival is sponsored by Chevron, City of Richmond, Recreation & Parks Commission, Mechanics Bank, Sims Metal Management, Republic Services, Richmond Community Foundation, SparkPoint Contra Costa, R&B Cellars, KBLX and Alist Musiq Circle.
The above photo was taken at last year’s festival by photographer Ellen Gailing and is courtesy of the Richmond Main Street Initiative.