Fes­ti­val ex­alts Jack­sonWard

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - METRO - BY SEAN GOR­MAN

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. sgor­man@times­dis­patch.com (804) 649-6885

CLEMENT BRITT

Christo­pherWoody skated to the mu­sic Satur­day at the 2nd Street Fes­ti­val in Rich­mond’s Jack­sonWard neigh­bor­hood.

CLEMENT BRITT

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.

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