Annapolis Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival Returns This Saturday

September 20, 2022

Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival

The Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival will return to City Dock for the 32nd year on Saturday, September 24, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The festival is for all ages to celebrate the perseverance, education and cultural heritage of Africans, African Americans and Caribbean people of African descent. Admission is free. 

The event will take place at City Dock and Susan Campbell Park. For this event, there will be no parking on Dock Street and no parking at Donner Lot beginning Saturday morning at 7 a.m. and for the duration of the festival. See below for other parking tips while the Hillman Garage in downtown is being rebuilt. 

The festival features art, music, dance, and food of the African Diaspora, including more than 110 artisan, food, and education vendors. Cultural activities, art, and  music and dance performances will be scheduled throughout the day. A children’s tent with fun activities will be presented by the Chesapeake Children’s Museum and Sankofa Children’s Museum of African Cultures. 

Kunta Kinte is the protagonist in Alex Haley’s seminal novel, “Roots: The Saga of An American Family.” In the story, Kunta Kinte was one of 98 enslaved people brought to Annapolis aboard the ship Lord Ligonier in 1767. Despite many years in bondage, he never lost his connection to his African heritage. Kunta Kinte’s experience symbolizes the struggle of all ethnic groups to preserve their cultural heritage. In Roots, Haley revisits the oral histories told by his grandmother of an ancestor named Kunta Kinte who landed in Annapolis in 1767. Haley’s book spent 46 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, selling more than 1.5 million copies. In 1977, the television mini-series of the same name launched a boom in the field of genealogy. “Roots” earned a Pulitzer Prize, nine Emmy awards and a Peabody.

PARKING: There is no parking on Dock Street and Donner Lot from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. the day of the festival. The best parking option is Park Place Garage ($5 with a Kunta Kinte Festival voucher). Additional paid parking can be found at Gott’s Garage and Knighton Garage. The free “magenta” downtown shuttle will pick up from these garages throughout the event on a 10-minute schedule. Download the Transloc APP for android or Apple to track the shuttle’s current location. For detailed parking information, visit Limited free parking is available at the State Garage (19 St. John’s Street). Festival parking at Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium is $10. A free shuttle will also run between Navy Stadium-Maryland Archives-State Garage-Whitmore Garage to the festival site. 

SPONSORS: Sponsors include: the City of Annapolis, Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, Chesapeake Crossroads Heritage Area, Annapolis Art in Public Places Commission, The Best Voice Talent, Maryland Live! Casino and Hotel, Arts Council of Anne Arundel County, Annapolis Rotary Foundation, Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County, Divaz Inc. Productions, Brown Sound Productions, Delicados, Inc. of Annapolis, Annapolis Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Wegmans, United Rentals and Reese & Sons Mortuary. 

For more details on the schedule of activities, performances, exhibitors and food options, please visit