Sunday, July 22, 2001

Fest-goers find fun

At Ujima, crowds take in offerings

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Fanning herself with her hand, Amy Lewis glanced over the assortment of silver rings offered by one of the Ujima Cinci-Bration vendors along Fifth Street on Saturday.

        Calling to her sister, Susan Johnson, she pointed to a ring with intricate carvings of African figures.

        “You can't find this back home,” said Mrs. Lewis of Grand Rapids, Mich.

Kaw Cissko of Atlanta sells hats on Fifth Street.
(Ernest Coleman photo)
| ZOOM |
  • Gospel Fest on Fountain Square,Noon-2 p.m.: Praise Party with P. Ann Everson Price; Michelle & Curtis Gibson's Gospel Love Songs; Vessels of Praise Mime Ministry & One Love Praise Dancers; Nu Family Vocal Ensemble.
  • Just Jazz 2-6 p.m.: The Jazz All Stars; Mandy Gaines & The Billy Larkin Trio; The All Star Band; Eugene Goss and Triage; Robby Bright & In the Groove.
  • Jazz Fest, 8 p.m. (tickets required): The O'Jays, Gerald Levert, Yolanda Adams, The Queen City Jazz All Stars.
  • More details
        The pair arrived in Cincinnati on Friday after making the six-hour drive to attend the Coors Light Jazz Festival. Saturday's show featured scheduled performances by Aretha Franklin, Brian McKnight, Chante Moore, The Four Tops and Cameo.

        Ms. Johnson and Mrs. Lewis have heard about Cincinnati's problems.

        “The police shootings. The riots. The curfew. And now something about a boycott,” said Ms. Johnson, holding up a finger for each statement. “We heard about it all. But all we're really trying to hear is Aretha.”

        “I understand what's going on here and if I lived here I'd be upset, too. But I just want to have a good time. After all, isn't that what this festival is supposed to be about?” added Mrs. Lewis. “I left my kids and my husband at home and I'm having a good time.”

        Thousands gathered on Fountain Square Saturday evening to hear comedian George Wallace and catch glimpses of nationally syndicated radio personalities Doug Banks and DeDe McGuire.

        Cincinnati police spokesman Lt. Kurt Byrd said there were 20 to 25 arrests Friday night for minor offenses.

        Shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday, police were investigating a shot fired on Sixth Street between Vine and Walnut streets. No one was injured.

        Restaurants closed last year remained open. The festival concludes today.


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