A Mask Up, Social Distancing, Safe Weekend Celebration of Buffalo’s Own Rick James With Community Forums, Entertainment and More Set for August 21 & 22 !
The Annual NICYO Buffalo Funk Fest will take place next weekend August 21 and 22 thanks to some creative planning and plenty of “community, unity and love!”
Now in its 16th year, the celebration is held annually in honor of Buffalo’s own King of Punk Funk, Rick James.
Pegged as a “Social Distancing Event, ” folks are encouraged to “Mask Up” and come out and enjoy the “NICYO Funk Fest Party at the Pub” where Buffalo’s favorite block party will take place in the parking lot of Arthur’s Pub, 596 Genesee Street on Friday, August 21 and Saturday August 22 from 7-11 p.m. It will feature sounds by the Dream Team – DJ Papa Trini, DJ EZ Ed, DJ Big Poppa and DJ Stoney.
On Saturday afternoon August 22 from 2-6:30 p.m. in Martin Luther King Jr. Park the event continues with the “NICYO Buffalo Funk Fest Unity Rally” featuring a Youth Forum, with guest speakers such as Brother Neal Dobbins, Sister Shiloh, Pastor Kenny Simmons and others. There will also be COVID testing, census information, on-site voter registration and performances by Buffalo-based headliners Denzell Ward and Cool Platinum and the DCT Music Company.
“Activities will take place outside both days in the parking lot at Arthur’s Pub and in Martin Luther King Park” said organizer Marnetta Malcolm. “This is about us! And please no tents or grills!” (Coolers are allowed).
“The events will be “strictly enforced because we want to keep people safe,” she added. “I’m encouraging everyone to come out . We want to make sure that Buffalo is happy but also that Buffalo is safe.”
Although the Funk Fest is a party, planners are hopeful that it will also serve as the beginning of a positive movement in the wake of a pandemic, social unrest, gun violence and an historic presidential election just a few short months away.
“We’ve got to start with accountability,” continued Marnetta. “ We’ve got to start with ourselves. We have to ask ‘What can I do to make sure my community is good?’ ”
The NICYO Buffalo /Funk Fest Unity Rally is sponsored by: The Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo, Organize Buffalo, Carmen Sims, Attorney John Elmore, Geneva’s Auto, Camellia Foods, Tommy Flucker, Power 96.5, CASNY and The Challenger.
“I’m all for knowing justice and knowing peace (Know Justice, Know Peace!),” she concluded, “and the only way to know is to engage in listening and talking thru it.”