The City of Opa-locka Mayor and Commission presented an African Heritage/Fish Fry Gospel and Blues Festival sponsored by the Youth Crime Prevention Program combined with the Park and Recreations Department on Saturday, February 26, 2011 at 2:00 PM, on the west lawn of Historic City Hall, 777 Sharazad Boulevard, Opa-locka, Florida 33054, in honor of the Black History Month Celebration.
While the band, “30 Deep,” under the direction of Anthony Randolph, performed a musical repertoire that spanned genres and generations, it was the powerful vocals of 20-year-old Sara Anderson that stole the audience’s attention, during her tribute to Mahalia Jackson with the song “How I got Over.” Anderson said she mostly sings Gospel music with “The Young Ladies of Integrity,” an organization she mentors. She added, “I’ve been singing since I was born, and I sing at my church, the Spirit of Christ Center and Ministries in Aventura.”
The young and the younger dressed in their most impressive African garb for the festival. The “Seniors on the Move” competed during the fashion show segment of the Black History event. Judges Edna Hardy, Christine Banks, Zonya Ray and David Chiverton found it almost impossible to choose only three winners, but ultimately the winners were chosen based on the overall attire. Third place was captured by Mrs. Mattie Scott who said her daughter Dorothy sent the red with white trim outfit from Atlanta, Georgia over four years ago. The second place went to Mrs. Dorothy Randolph who wore a brown and gold garment which was a special order placed by her daughter Shavazon. The winner was Mrs. Luvenia Spears who purchased her burgundy and gold apparel over three years ago for Black History month. The ladies were all awarded trophies.
In addition to the great music, guests and participants of the festival were treated to “down-home” cooking, consisting of fried fish, grits, hush puppies, bar-b-que ribs and chicken.