The thirteenth annual African American Community Heritage Festival took place on the campus of Huston-Tillotson University today. It includes food vendors, merchants and information tables. The Regan High School drum line kicked off the festivities this afternoon with a salute to Mardi Gras.
State Representative Donna Dukes established the festival in 1998 as a culmination of Black History Month. She says she wanted to hold a free, family-oriented celebration of Austin's African-American community. And wanted to tie in an educational element, so she chose Huston-Tillotson, the oldest African American university in Texas.
"With the 13 years we've been doing the festival, we've been able to grant 85-thousand dollars to Huston-Tillotson to give out in scholarships. And we will top that this year," Dukes said.
Brittney Glenn is in her last year studying psychology at Huston-Tillotson. She says she hasn't missed a Heritage Festival since she started school here back in 2008.
"It's really nice to just come and interact with people and just see the different vendors and tables and to just get more information about what's going on in today's society," Glenn told KUT.