Kwanzaa comes to Leimert Park Village and South Los Angeles

The last month of the year is a busy one in Leimert Park Village as the square is all lit up for the holidays, a peace and unity tree is decorated and snow is imported.

Oh yeah there's also a lot of Kwanzaa events - I know they are talking about a lot of the same events but the info, the contact numbers and websites all have slight variations.

It's always a big event so come down any time as there's always something going on in Leimert Park.

NPR and Farai Chideya say that people in Leimert Park know more about Kwanzaa than most.


The 33rd Annual Kwanzaa Gwaride in Leimert Park

Crenshaw Blvd around Leimer Leimert Park

Parade beginning at Adams & Crenshaw, traveling south on Crenshaw Blvd. to Leimert Park at Vernon Ave.

KwanZaa is a seven day event, ending Friday, January 1st, 2010. KwanZaa Gwaride is sponsored and organized by KwanZaa People of Color, Inc.

10:00 am
KwanZaa Marketplace Opens in Leimert Park Personal Spiritual Readings and Make & Take Workshops all day facilitated by Rasheeda

12:00 - 2:00 pm
33rd Annual KwanZaa Gwaride & Festival Parade begins at Adams & Crenshaw, traveling south on Crenshaw Blvd. to Leimert Park at Vernon Ave.

2:00 - 5:00 pm

Jumpe Rope & Hula Hoop competition going on simultaneously to hybrid gas/water demonstration

6:00 - 7:00 pm
Makinya (Candlelighting) Ceremony

For more information on the festival schedule and how to participate please visit their website here or call (323) 799-8409.


Kwanzaa Parade
Sat, Dec 26, noon

Where: Adams Blvd. and Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles

The parade will travel south to Leimert Park at 43rd Place to open the 44th Year of the Kwanzaa Era: The Year of Kujichagulia (Self Determination).

A lot of hoopla will be in the parking lot of Leimert Park's Vision Theatre, 4330 Degnan Blvd., Los Angeles. There will be live music, drum circles, an international food court, a health pavilion, a children's village with a petting zoo and more.
More info: (213) 955-5239,

The role of Oba (King) of the parade this year will be posthumously given to the late Tommy Jacquette, a founder of the Watts Summer Festival. The role of Iyaba (Queen) of this year's gwaride will be jointly shared by Regina Kimbell, filmmaker and producer of the award-winning film, "My Nappy Roots," and Denise Estelle, producer of the Wooli Me Natural Hair Expo.

More info: (323) 735-6643.


Kwanzaa Bonanza

Price: FREE

Leimert Park Village
3347 W. 43rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90008


Though rooted in Africa, the modern Kwanzaa tradition was born right here in L.A. when Cal State Long Beach professor Maulana Karenga lit the Unity and Umoja candles in 1966 and celebrated the African American holiday. This weekend, get in on the joy at the sixth annual Kwanzaa Heritage Parade and Festival in Leimert Park. The festival will feature live entertainment, children;s activities, food, a marketplace and other attractions. And because some people just can;t keep still during such a festive event, a parade will start at noon on Crenshaw Blvd. at Rodeo Road and go south to Leimert Park Village.


Kwanzaa in the "Upper Room" at the Museum of African American Art Los Angeles December 28th - 31st

Workshops on:

Roots of Kwanzaa The Moral Imperative of Kwanzaa, The Future of Kwanzaa, Mask Making Kwanzaa Ceremonies.

Find out everything you wanted to know about Kwanzaa.


Umoja Means Unity
Sat, Dec 26, 6:30 p.m.

Where: Exposition Park's California African American Museum, 700 State Drive, Los Angeles

(Though CAAM does not mention this on the site, LA Beez does)

A Kwanzaa candle-lighting ceremony for Umoja (Unity) will be held Dec. 26, 6:30 p.m., at Exposition Park's California African American Museum, 700 State Drive, Los Angeles. This annual ceremony will include poetry, music and wishes for the New Year to mark the beginning of Kwanzaa. Attendees are asked to bring warm, clean or new clothing, coats and blankets for those in ... to celebrate this season of harvesting and sharing the good. This event is sponsored by the African American Cultural Center, KRST Unity Center of Afrakan Spiritual Science, the Kwanzaa Heritage Festival and several others.
More info: (323) 299-6124,

Long Beach Kwanzaa
Sat, Dec 26, 5 to 9 p.m.

Where: Recreation Park Social Hall, 4900 E. 7th St., Long Beach

Shades of Afrika
will hold its seventh annual Kwanzaa celebration Dec. 26, 5 to 9 p.m., at Recreation Park Social Hall, 4900 E. 7th St., Long Beach. There will be a Karamu (community feast), drummers, dancers, arts and crafts, storytelling and more. Tickets for this event are $12 for adults and $5 for children, and the proceeds will benefit Starting Over Inc., a transitional housing provider for men, women and children.
More info: (562) 436-2210,


City of Inglewood
Traditional procession, children’s crafts, dancers and complete Kwanzaa ceremony converge in Darby Park, 3400 W. Arbor Vitae, on Dec. 26.

Children’s activities will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. One of the highlights includes a crafting session for children who will be taught how to make masks, drums and dolls in the park’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center.

Ceremonies are expected to last until 8:30. Opening procession and Kwanzaa Ceremony which will begin at 6 p.m.

Please wear traditional African or ancestral attire and bring musical instruments and dancing shoes. Guests are also invited to bring pictures of deceased loved ones to put on the Ancestral Altar. Food will be served.


Lula Washington Dance Theatre
Tue, Dec 29 to Wed, Dec 30, 7:30 p.m.

Where: 3773 S. Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles

The Lula Washington Dance Theatre will hold its 19th Annual Kwanzaa Celebration Dec. 29 to 30, 7:30 p.m., at 3773 S. Crenshaw Blvd.. Rapper and poet "YoYo" will join the Lula Washington Youth Dance Ensemble in its "Celebration of Family, Community, and Culture." Proceeds from the evening will benefit the dance company's ongoing programs including its dance school, dance company, youth scholarships and local performances.
(323) 292-5852,


An Evening in Africa — Kwanzaa Community Feast
Thu, Dec 31, 6 to 9 p.m.

Where: Friendship Auditorium, 3201 Riverside Drive, Los Angeles

"An Evening in Africa" is the theme of the annual Kwanzaa Community Feast. This event will be held Dec. 31, 6 to 9 p.m., at the Friendship Auditorium, 3201 Riverside Drive, Los Angeles. There will be a libation, dance, drumming, stories, poetry, African foods and special cultural presentations from Maulana Karenga, Asha's Baba and others. This event is sponsored by the African American Cultural Center. Tickets are required to attend and no tickets will be sold at the door.
(323) 299-6124

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