Festival exalts JacksonWard
Arow of pink and purple balloons hovered Saturday in Jackson Ward over North Second Street, welcoming people to the festival named for the Richmond street.
About a block up the road, on East Marshall Street, was a row of antique cars — a 1938 Buick convertible, a yellow 1975 Corvette Stingray and a shiny orange 1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlo that had caught the eye of Jennifer Rasberry’s daughter, who is almost 3 years old.
“This is her first Two Street ( festival),” said Rasberry, a 34- year- old Richmond resident. “This is one of our favorite parts, the cars.”
Among the owners keeping a caring eye over their antique vehicles was Derrick Banks, who brought his 1957 turquoise green Chevrolet Bel Air convertible with tiny eight balls atop the door locks.
Banks, vice president of the Richmond Metropolitan Antique Car Club of Virginia, said he has been to just about every 2nd Street Festival over the past three decades.
“They always show up for the cars,” Banks said of festival attendees. “They love these old cars, and we love showing them.”
This is the 29th year of the 2nd Street Festival honoring Jackson Ward, which
is recognized as a National Historic Landmark.
The neighborhood, to the north and west of the bulk of downtown, became a key focal point for black economic activity and culture since becoming majority AfricanAmerican in the early 20th century.
Among its most wellknown residents was businesswoman and civil rights activist Maggie L. Walker, whose West Leigh Street home is open to tours.
Michael Bournique, who grew up in the neighborhood and now lives in North Side, said he wanted to attend the festival on Saturday “because this is historic Jackson Ward.”
“There’s a lot of restoration. A lot of new people moving in,” said Bournique, who is 61. “It still makes for a good outing, good day to come out and just see old friends and family.”
Leroy and Cynthia
Bray came prepared for a street festival with multiple music acts and other things to see. The husband and wife, who live in Hanover, were toting around a fold- out wagon that also had folding chairs, as well as iced tea and ginger ale.
“We walk a little bit. Sit down a little bit. Get up and walk some more and try to catch all the sights,” said Cynthia Bray, 69.
Leroy Bray, who grew up in Church Hill, said he spent some time during the festival “reminiscing just about all the stuff that used to go on down here.”
Standing in the 500 block of North Second, Bray said he used to cut hair in a barbershop on that very same block in the 1970s at a storefront across the street from the Hippodrome Theater. The block has changed over the decades, Bray said.
The barbershop used to be in a spot that’s now a parking lot, he said, and a lot of the neighborhood buildings have been renovated.
Bob Dandridge, who grew up in the West End and graduated from Maggie Walker High School in 1965, said his trip to the festival was the first time he attended despite years of hearing about the event.
Dandridge, who now lives in Norfolk, said he had stopped in Richmond to visit his sister and that he wanted to see the festival before he took a trip to Durham, N. C.
While speaking with a reporter, Dandridge exchanged a fair amount of well wishes and handshakes with people he knew from growing up in Richmond.
“As you noticed, I’m running into quite a few people that I know from my youth days,” Dandridge said.
The festival runs through Sunday evening. firstname.lastname@example.org (804) 649-6885
ChristopherWoody skated to the music Saturday at the 2nd Street Festival in Richmond’s JacksonWard neighborhood.
Shanta Jasper (left) and Shannon Renee performedwith J Tucker and The Krewe on the Joe Kennedy Jr. Jazz Stage at the 2nd Street Festival in JacksonWard on Saturday.