Rondo Days Grand Parade and Festival: A Slide Show
It's Saint Paul's--and Minnesota's--biggest celebration of African American life, commemorating the Rondo neighborhood, which was largely bulldozed away to make room for Interstate 94 in the 1960s. A twelve-block parade from the historically black St. Peter Claver
Catholic church to the Martin Luther King Recreation Center
grounds kicks the festivities off, with drum corps, dancers, and plenty of politicking. At the Center, food, booths, fun--and an emphasis on family; many extended African American clans hold their family reunions on festival day.
The web site of Rondo Avenue Inc
., the festival's parent organization, sums up the meaning of the day: "It celebrates the best and brightest of Minnesota’s African-American stories, achievements and culture. It reunites a dispersed people, welcomes new neighbors and encourages everyone to be mindful of the extent to which neighborhoods nourish our souls."
This year, Bill Kelley followed all the action on July 21. Herewith, his images.