BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Johnnie B. Wiley Amateur Athletic Sports Pavilion is hosting its inaugural Kuleta Pamoja festival Saturday on June 26. The event will continue each Saturday through September 25.
Kuleta Pamoja Festival Saturdays run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the pavilion, located at 1100 Jefferson Avenue, between Dodge and Best Streets. The festival gets its name from the Swahili phrase meaning 'to come together.'
The event will feature a variety of vendors, a farmer's market, and entertainment.
"As we approach the heel of this global Covid-19 pandemic, Kuleta Pamoja will serve as the social, economical and cultural vaccine we all need," said Cedric Holloway, executive director of the Johnnie B. Wiley Amateur Sports Pavilion and Omega Mentoring, which is housed inside the facility. "Our vision is to bring value to our community through wellness, creativity, financial literacy and independence. We want this amazing facility to be the hub of our East Side Community that is open to everyone in Western New York, and we look forward to growing our Kuleta Pamoja with more activities each week."
Also on Saturday, June 26, a ceremony is scheduled to rename the track and field inside the pavilion to the Hank Sevillian Track and Field.
Coach Sevillian was born and raised on Buffalo's East Side. He attended and excelled in track and field at Burgard High School where he earned the title "The 100-Yard Dash King."
There will be free, outdoor exercise classes. J3 Fitness will lead a free Zumba class at 10 a.m. and Bodied by Lea will host a free fitness class at 1 p.m. in front of the facility at Jefferson Avenue and Dodge Street.
The farmers market will open at 10 a.m. at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Best Street. The market will feature Alison DeHoney of Urban Fruits & Veggies and Buffalo Go-Green and Alex Wright of the African Heritage Food Co-Op.
"Unfortunately, many of our neighbors on the East Side of Buffalo live in a food desert where fresh produce is not always available for them. They now will have the benefit of purchasing locally grown with its high-quality nutrients," explained Holloway.
OMP Golden Stars, a co-ed, multi-age soccer league will host registration for its seven-week house league in Buffalo. There is no fee for participation, and all interested 10-16-year-old students are encouraged to attend.