By Kevin Aldridge
The Cincinnati Enquirer
The Midwest Regional Black Family Reunion celebrates its 15th year in Cincinnati today starting at 8 a.m. with the Heritage Breakfast and Opening Ceremony at the Vernon Manor Hotel in Avondale.
The reunion, themed "Building Families Together," runs through Sunday at Sawyer Point and Yeatman's Cove. The Midwestern celebration attracts thousands, including people from Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky.
The reunion will be shutting down an hour earlier this year at 8 p.m. rather than 9 p.m. Vendors will be allowed to continue selling goods until 8:30 p.m.
Reunion organizers said the first 200 guests at this year's Heritage Breakfast will eat for free. Mom and Pop Winans, the matriarch and patriarch of the renowned gospel music family, will be the featured speakers and entertainers.
A Diversity Job Fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cintas Center at Xavier University. The job fair, sponsored by The Cincinnati Enquirer, will feature more than 50 employers.
Author Robert Lawson will be keynote speaker at a Town Hall Meeting at 6 p.m. at the Legacy Banquet & Conference Center in Roselawn. The theme for the meeting is "Building Communities Together."
There will be a panel discussion that will include author Odessa Walker Hooker, Cincinnati Police Capt. Michael Cureton, chief of staff for the mayor Bernadette Watson and Councilwoman Laketa Cole.
Weekend events include:
The Midwest Regional Black Family Reunion Parade will be held from 10 a.m. to noon. Staging will begin at Queensgate Park at the intersection of Linn and Court streets.
Concert on the Cove runs from 2-7 p.m. at the Serpentine Wall on Yeatman's Cove. The Big Fun Reggae Band will perform.
R&B concert will be held from 4:30-8 p.m. Featured acts include Avant, Tamia and The Temptations featuring Dennis Edwards.
Themed pavilions will be open 1-6 p.m. Pavilions will include: spirituality, young adults, children, health, speaking of women's health, cybervillage and housing.
Concert on the Cove will take place 2-7 p.m. The jazz group Pieces of a Dream will perform.
Gospel concert will be held from 4:30-8 p.m. The Chicago Mass Choir will perform.
Themed pavilions open 1-6 p.m.
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