SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The 34th annual Stone Soul Festival is being held in Springfield on Saturday.

Soon people from all over will be gathering at Blunt Park for a day full of fun and celebrations. This three-day event will have many family-orientated activities, lots of food, live entertainment, and cultural enrichment. The Stone Soul Festival is an annual celebration of African-American culture and community.

“I’m just here to support the parade, Stone Soul all day!,” expressed Organizer and Producer Stephen Stix Josey

So what do you need to know for this big event? The Stone Soul Festival parade will kick off at the Rebecca Johnson School with the lineup starting at 10 a.m., and then the parade will make its way to Blunt Park at 11 a.m. where the festivities will take place.

Organizers are welcoming all families and friends to come out and celebrate. Mayor Domenic Sarno will be marching in the parade on Saturday.

Mayor Sarno states, “The Stone Soul Festival, founded 34 years ago by my friend Jay Griffin, is a staple in our community. We are proud to continue to support the Stone Soul Festival, which is also one of New England’s largest African-American festivals. We kick off from Rebecca Johnson School, which is now the home of a stunning and historic mural honoring Springfield’s own two-time Academy Award-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter. Then we make our way to Blunt Park to enjoy the great entertainment and atmosphere at Blunt Park. I am looking forward to seeing you there.”

Springfield City Councilor Kateri Walsh says she enjoys coming to events like this because it brings the community together, “Such a wonderful event, it brings people to Springfield. It’s like a reunion and I can feel the excitement in the air.”

The annual Stone Soul Parade was just a part of the celebration, before kicking off the festival at Blunt Park in Springfield.

“It’s all inclusive,” expressed Marlene Tyson, a member of the Stone Soul Committee and Parade Coordinator, “Diversity is important, and we want people to come out and enjoy. We want people to always come out and support Springfield in their endeavors.”

Sunday is the last day of the festival. Praise in the Park is at 10:30 a.m. and there will be a gospel concert, lots of food, fun activities, and a Stone Soul Picnic.

Local News

Kiara Smith is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since March 2023. Follow Kiara on X @KiaraBSmith1 and view her bio to see more of her work.