ANDERSON — The Anderson Black Expo is switching locations this year, but organizers say the only other difference people should expect is more public awareness.
After three decades, the summer festival is moving from Jackson Park to Anderson Town Center Plaza.
Judy Streeter, Anderson Black Expo president, said the poor economy and a tight budget caused the expo to relocate downtown.
But there are other benefits to moving, Streeter said.
“Our primary focus is to educate our community,” she said. “By moving it to the downtown location, it gives us an opportunity to educate a wider (audience), more of the community.”
Streeter said she’s optimistic the new location will showcase Anderson Black Expo and its mission, although she understands why some people may have reservations.
“Change is not easy for everybody,” she said. “When you look at the fact you’ve been doing something for 30-plus years and then you change it, that doesn’t sit well with everyone.”
Representative Marilyn Goree stressed that the festival is still the same. The name and mission of the events haven’t changed with the venue.
“It’s just important for all of us to come together as one,” Goree said. “We’re doing this for the kids in the community.”
The events started with its ecumenical service Monday at Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church, followed by a film festival and panel discussion Tuesday evening.
The expo’s annual prayer walk will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at its new location, Town Center Plaza.
Weekend events will start with the carnival, which opens at 5 p.m. Friday, and noon Saturday and Sunday.
A youth talent show will start at 5:30 p.m. Friday, followed by live entertainment featuring Aberdeen Project at 8 p.m.
The parade will kick off the Saturday events at noon at the corner of 9th and Main streets and will flow south to 13th Street, where it will then travel west to Jackson Street and make its way north back to 9th Street. It will end at the corner of 9th and Meridian Streets.