It all began Friday (for this writer) Friday night, June 1, as large numbers of local residents lined the railings of the Atlantic City Boardwalk while the usual throngs of tourists strolled down our historic promenade.
We locals were waiting to see our friends and family members in the Multi-Cultural Heritage Parade. (See photos here)
It was a great success with numerous cars, floats, performances and representatives of pretty much every portion of our community participating, an excellent showcase of the diverse elements that make up our small city.
We saw the bright lights of the police escort and heard the bands playing long before they reached Bally’s, about midway along the parade route.
First, there was an honor guard bearing the flags of our country, state and city; then, Mayor Lorenzo Langford waved to the crowds, followed by First Lady Nynell Langford and about 50 motorcycle riders from various clubs revving their engines.
Next came Tom Joyner, who had earlier spent time with locals at the West Atlantic City WTTH studios, where he broadcast his morning show live.
Then began a series of bands, floats, marchers and politicians representing Atlantic City High School, Mainland High School, Pleasantville High School, Camden High School, Malcolm Shabazz High School (New York), ethnic groups from around the city, including Nigerian, Chinese, Italian, Latinos from every country you can imagine, City Council President Speedy Marsh and County Freeholder Charles Garrett, as well as a host of fraternity, sorority and community groups.
Terri Bethea, a local Zumba instructor, led a group from her classes, followed by John Howard’s gospel caravan, representative of the African-American community.
Flowery floats bore men, women and children in traditional garb from Bangladesh, India, Mexico and Colombia.
Though Atlantic City’s first lady tried to save the best for last, it was difficult — at 7’1” — to keep the “Shaquo-Claus,” as she referred to Shaquille O'Neal, a secret while the children enjoyed their afternoon.
Jubilee: "Things don’t work that way in policing. The Atlantic City Police Department has jurisdiction for the entire city.”
Though the night was filled with spoken-word talent of all genres, children and young adults also spoke passionately about being bullied and the challenges of growing up in a society that glorifies violence but complains about the proliferation of violence and guns in our neighborhoods.
Wash's hosts 'Rewind - Live Radio Show,' bringing back sounds of Motown with several local talented performers.
“Being a boxing fan, I appreciate the legacy and history of boxing in Atlantic City. Of course, during the casino era, in the 1980s, when Don King was promoting the Mike Tyson fights, this is where the action was. And the town came alive with every major fight. It was good for the economy. Everybody did well.”
Atlantic City will celebrate its cultural diversity in fitting fashion this weekend (June 1-3) — with an assortment of events kicked off by the most listened-to syndicated morning radio host in America.
A guide to events, festivals and more during the flowering season in the Jersey shore region.
Last Thursday, April 5, Henrietta Shelton and the Chicken Bone Beach Foundation opened their spring jazz series at Top of the Trop in the Tropicana Casino. With a room full of supporters, Mayor Lorenzo Langford was on deck to present Henrietta with a proclamation from the City of Atlantic City for service to the community by way of preserving family values, developing community engagement and promoting an appreciation of America’s classical music — jazz.
Plus Singer-Songwriter Event in Cape May, the Album of the Week (The Shins) and Drew Toonz
The City of Atlantic City is planning a massive Multi-Cultural and Heritage Festival, which will take over the resort town for three days, June 1-3.
Jacob Lawrence Day in Atlantic City
Black History, Jazz and Poetry