More than 100,000 attended the 29th annual festival, celebrating African and Caribbean culture.
Thousands flocked to Woodbine Park last weekend to dance and eat and enjoy local and international performers on stage at Afrofest 2017.
Presented by Music Africa, this year marked the 29th anniversary of what’s been called the largest free African music festival in North America. Some of the featured international artists included Bracket (Nigeria), X Maleya (Cameroon), Mi Casa (South Africa), Gabacho Maroc (Morocco), Dicko Fils (Burkina Faso), and Ammoye (Jamaica).
Local talent included host Femi Lawson, and the Black Stars dance troupe, led by celebrated dancer and choreographer Esie Mensah, among other performances. The festival also featured more than 70 vendors showcasing African arts, crafts, fashion, and African cuisine, as well as a children’s village and a drum circle.
Style was front and centre with an array of dashikis, kente cloth and Dutch wax fabric designs on display, highlighted by a wide range of creative hairstyles and African face painting. A two-day dance contest spotlighted ten dancers vying for bragging rights and the top prize of $500, and Nigerian Afropop/R&B band Bracket closed out the festival in style with a packed performance on Sunday night.
Despite slow bus service to and from the park and threats of bad weather on Sunday, organizers estimate approximately 100,000 attendees made this one of the most successful Afrofest to date.