Riverfront Soul Festival becomes 3-day event

Published 8:49 pm Friday, July 29, 2022

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The second annual Riverfront Soul Festival is coming in September with a notable difference from its debut in 2021 — it’s expanding from one day to three.

“This year’s even bigger,” Festival Founder Dr. Eric Majette said.

The free event will unfold in the city of Franklin from Sept. 9-11.

It will bring back some of the key things that made it a success last year, including live jazz, gospel and Christian rap music at Barrett’s Landing Park, along with a comedy show. There will be vendors and food available too.

This year, however, the festival will get started Friday, Sept. 9, with a Community Health and Wellness Fair at Camp Community College’s Workforce Development Center.

“We’re going to address the health problems affecting the families in the city of Franklin and surrounding region,” Majette said. “It’s basically an education event.”

He noted that medical professionals and field experts will be collaborating together to educate the community on the importance of health screenings and preventive health.

“We’re looking at giving away free COVID testing kits, high blood pressure checks, diabetes, heart health and cancer and breast and prostate,” Majette said.

He also noted that other topics that will be addressed at the fair include sickle cell disease, stress management and healthy eating.

The fair will run from 1-7 p.m. on Sept. 9.

On Saturday, Sept. 10, the festival shifts to Barrett’s Landing Park, where people can enjoy live music and comedy from 1-7 p.m.

“And then Sunday morning, I’m doing an all-inclusive collaboration worship service, and then Sunday afternoon, that’s when the Christian artists will come out, and they will perform,” Majette said. “We’re going to have a showcase, and we’re going to be giving away $500.”

The Sunday, Sept. 11, events will all take place at Barrett’s Landing Park and run from 11 a.m. until around 6 p.m.

Majette said some major corporations have reached out to him in connection to the festival, including Optima, AT&T and Bon Secours, and he said the city of Franklin will be one of the big promoters of the event this year.

He noted that more than a thousand people attended the festival throughout the day in 2021, and he gave his thoughts on what made the growth to a three-day event possible.

“It was just that I think last year, the word got out after the festival — everybody had such a great time,” he said. “We had absolutely no incidents at all. The community started talking about it, and then we had a lot of out-of-towners, too, that came, not just Franklin. We had people as far as Baltimore and Richmond that came out and talked about how much of a great time they had at the festival. And then also, I think all the acts were good. The vendors were strong. All the vendors made money.”

Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, people needed an outlet, he said.

This year, he noted that the festival also has the opportunity to leave an important impact in the community as it relates to health and wellness.

Majette stated that sponsorships and vending opportunities are available.

“We would like to invite corporate and community organizations to partner with us as we increase our positive impact,” festival officials stated.

For more information on the festival and sponsorship and vending opportunities, visit www.RiverfrontSoulFestival.com or call 757-550-1850.