Downtown Richmond’s 9th Spirit & Soul Festival set for Sept. 16


Summer may be winding down, but it won’t seem that way in downtown Richmond on Saturday, Sept. 16.

From 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. that day, the 9th annual Spirit & Soul Festival will have locals dancing in the street in an event that will take place on Macdonald Avenue from Harbour Way to 13th Street.

And this year, there’s much to celebrate downtown, particularly after Hollywood actor Wendell Pierce recently announced a major investment along the corridor that includes a massive mixed-use development on Macdonald from 11th to 13th streets.

“[On Sept. 16], downtown will be transformed into an outdoor bazaar featuring phenomenal entertainment on two stages,  food and artisan vendors, a beverage pavilion, and youth zone,” according to the Richmond Main Street Initiative (RMSI), which hosts the annual event.

The free festival will feature community advocate Gerry Dove (102.9 KBLX, Promotions Director) as MC for the Main Stage. The Main Stage will include performances by 1st Avenue Revue, a Prince tribute band; Richmond’s own jazz, blues and soul performer Rhonda Benin; and classic American Rock & Roll by PUSH featuring Dan Ashley

At the 12th Street stage presented by the RYSE Center, performances include local singers and songwriters SHARI and Ronnie Mills, plus the ROOTS Dance Team, The Sistaaz, and Rhythm & Poetry spoken word collective.

Festivalgoers will also enjoy an outdoor marketplace featuring local food and artisan vendors, including wine courtesy of R&B Cellars, and beer by East Brother Beer Company and Benoit Casper Brewing Co.

There will also be information booths, a free book fair, lawn chess, and a mobile art gallery courtesy of ArtIsMobileUS. Attendees can enter for a chance to win drawing prizes, including a Marin Bikes mountain bike.

The Spirit & Soul Festival is sponsored by Mechanics Bank, Kaiser Permanente, Rolling Hills Memorial Park, Sims Metal Management, Republic Services, City of Richmond, Overaa Construction, East Bay Municipal Utility District, and KBLX. With additional generous support from RYSE Center, SparkPoint Contra Costa, Marin Bikes, Benoit Casper, East Brother Brewing Company, Riggers Loft Wine Company, and Rich City Rides.