More than ten thousand gospel music fans recently converged on the beautiful 60-acre Chesapeake City Park in Chesapeake, Virginia for the first annual Musical Soul Food Festival. Families from as far away as New York to the North and Florida in the South made the journey to Hampton Roads for a weekend of non-stop entertainment with great food, awesome music and recreational activities for the entire family. “The event was AMAZING,” says festival founder April Chandler of HBK Media. “The crowd turn-out exceeded our expectations and most of the people came as families. We had everybody from babies to senior citizens and they all had a wonderful time.” It was confirmed that more than 10,000 people filled the park at its peak.
Chesapeake City Mayor Alan P. Krasnoff made a special appearance to present honorary festival host Dr. Bobby Jones with a citation naming June 25th Dr. Bobby Jones Day in Chesapeake. Chesapeake Chief of Police Kelvin L. Wright along with his wife, Bishop Kim W. Brown, pastor of The Mount Church as well as executives from Chesapeake Regional Medical Center and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store were also on hand to share in the festivities. Almost fifty vendors had long lines of customers buying Caribbean food, barbecued spare ribs and decadent desserts. “They all did good business and overwhelmingly stated that it was the smoothest and most organized event they had experienced,” says Chandler.
The Musical Soul Food Festival is an extension of the nationally syndicated radio network, Rejoice! Musical Soul Food. The network develops family-friendly content that broadcasts daily on 32+ radio affiliates and an additional 80 affiliates air its specialty programs such as “The Dorinda Clark Cole Show” and “Cedric Bailey’s Traffic Jam,” among others. The two-day festival, sponsored in part by Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores, featured a six-hour concert boasting some of the leading voices in gospel music including Grammy® Award winner Dorinda Clark Cole, Brian Courtney Wilson, Jonathan Nelson, Melvin Williams, J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise, Bryan Andrew Wilson, Dottie Peoples and more. “Our mission was to create an event for the entire family where everyone is inspired, encouraged and filled with hope,” says Chandler. In addition to live music, activities in THE ZONE area included 3×3 basketball, Zumba, health and fitness demonstrations, live DJs and more. This area was sponsored by The American Heart Association and the Chesapeake Regional Medical Center. ”We’ve already started planning for next year’s big event that will take place June 24th. It promises to be even bigger and better than this year’s event.”