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Thousands Support Local Artists at 42nd Fifth Avenue Arts Festival

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) — It was an afternoon of jazz and reggae at the 42nd Fifth Avenue Arts Festival.

The event consisted of 3 days of performance and visual arts, but the goal was to celebrate the history of a historic African American community.

“So the festival was originally started by our original creator Nkwanda Jah as a way to celebrate the cultural art and history of Fifth Avenue,” said Courtney Scott, coordinator.

As part of pre-festival activities, a reception was held on Friday to educate the community about Fifth Avenue’s historic past.

“It was one of the first places African Americans settled after emancipation and they started communities, businesses, churches and really thrived,” Scott said.

When the festival started in 1979, less than 100 people attended. Over the years, the festival has grown bigger and bigger, welcoming thousands more people each year.

“It brings us all together and we’re really happy,” Scott said.

After a break due to COVID-19, the artists were finally able to show their talents to the community again.

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