African American History Festival wraps up

Black History Month

APALACHICOLA, Fla. (WMBB) — Over in Apalachicola, the 17th Annual African American History Festival wrapped up Sunday afternoon.

With a mission to celebrate the rich heritage of faith, hope, love, and family, community members did just that.

Every 3rd weekend in February, vendors, booths, and parade-goers take over Apalachicola.

The 17th annual Historic Festival had people from all over coming to join in the festivities.

“We encourage our vendors to come and set up and make money for themselves. The community comes here, not just the community in Apalach, Panama City, St. Joe, Tallahassee, the surrounding areas too, we have people from New York here,” said H’COLA President, Elinor Mount-Simmons.

The festival was a family-friendly event that has something for everyone each day of the weekend. Including several recognitions of community leaders.

“We introduce our royal court, our grand marshalls, and we unveil black legend panels, 13 panels of local citizens past and present that have made great contributions towards the betterment of our hill community,” said Mount-Simmons.

With the festival happening during Black History Month, President of H’COLA, Elinor Mount-Simmons says this is something she wants to continue for generations to come.

“H’COLA will hopefully forever have this because it’s so important to unify, to bring together, our community, to sit together to have fun together, fellowship together, let’s have a great time, so we are excited about doing it, oh yeah it’s a lot of work, a lot of hard work for our group. But we enjoy doing it every year, and we will continue hopefully doing it,” said Mount-Simmons.

And having her granddaughter included.

“I love the Black History Festival, we do it every year and it’s one of my favorite festivals that we have.” Madison Mount-Simmons.

Sunday’s festivities wrapped up with a worship service to give thanks for the weekend celebration.

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