SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — Thirty-two years ago the Springfield’s Stone Soul Festival became the best-attended African-American Festival in New England.
At the Blunt Park Picnic grove this Saturday and Sunday, there were many of the same families who were there when the festival began over the Labor Day weekend back in 1989. Co-Founder Jay Griffin attends every year. Griffin spoke with 22News about the inspiration for this highly successful coming together of African-American families from all over the nation.
“We were inspired believe it or not by, I grew up in Six Corners with a great many Italians and I used to go to the Italian festivals and we had such a good time at the Italian festival, we got together a couple of friends of mine and said how come we don’t have a festival,” Griffin said.
And the rest is history. Griffin salutes the help of many making this festival a success. He credits the Parks Department for making Blunt Park the festival’s longtime location. He said he’s proud that Springfield African-Americans who’ve moved away, still return to Springfield for Labor Day weekend and celebrate.