Journal Staff Writer

During the 12th Annual African American Parade, held on Saturday, July 16, neighborhoods that border Dorr St., City Park, Indiana Ave, and Smead, the actual route of the parade, saw everything that makes a parade possible. From the members of Mecca Temple 43 riding in little motorized cars, to the black horsemen, riding high on their steeds, to various schools, and organizations that service the African American community, to politicians shaking hands, and handing out candy, all were present, greeting those along the route.

Parade participants greet the crowd.
Parade participants greet the crowd.

But below the surface of the parade, sponsored by The Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union, exist a team of people committed to uplifting the African American community, in a multitude of ways.

Suzette Cowell, CEO of The Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union, told The Toledo Journal, that the parade is “Our baby. But the credit union is celebrating 20 years in existence, so we wanted to give back to the community.”

Parade participants greet the crowd.
Parade participants greet the crowd.

Starting on July 1, and going to July 29, the credit union gave, and will be giving back to their community by hosting 20 events, which represents 20 years of operation, around the city. From sponsoring free haircuts, and health screenings, to beautifying Chase, and Spring Elementary, to hosting “Coffee with Chief George Krall,” of the Toledo Police Department on July 29, at the credit union, Ms. Cowell wanted to make sure their appreciation for community support extended into all walks of life.

Instead of holding their music, and carnival portion of the festival, during the same weekend as the parade, Ms. Cowell said they decided to hold that portion on August 21st, at the Lucas County Recreation Center, and in conjunction with the  Toledo Rib off, because of a special musical guest.

Marvin Sapp (1)

International gospel recording artist, Marvin Sapp, will be the featured artist of the day.

“We’ve been trying to get him for six years, and this was the date he was available,” Ms. Cowell said.  The day will also feature Jazz, R & B, as well as gospel recording artists. Doors open at noon, entertainment starts at 1 pm until 8 pm.

To purchase tickets in advance, it is $8.00 at the door, $12.00, for visit The Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union at 1441 Dorr St. or call 419-255-8876. There will also be a parking fee at the Recreation Center.