CHICAGO (CBS) — The 30th annual African Festival of the Arts will take place Labor Day Weekend and will have the theme “Spirit of Africa.”

Each year the festival draws tens of thousands of people to its long-standing home in Washington Park.

The festival, sponsored by CBS 2 and held by Africa International House USA, Inc., will open Friday August 30th at 1 p.m. and last until 10 p.m. It also runs Saturday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The Ohio Players will headline the finale on Labor Day, Monday Sept. 2.

Chicagoan Damon Williams, who began his career at All Jokes Aside Comedy club, will guest host the evening events. He will be joined by Sheila O., an AIH board member, international media personality and the first female disc jockey to host a national syndicated AFRO BEATS radio show in the United States.

AIH Pam Morris-Walton will host Sunday’s “In the Spirit.”

Taking the stage on Saturday will be Nigerian-American actor, singer and model Olurotimi Akinosho, known professionally as Rotimi, will take the stage Saturday. Rotimi is known for his roles on two Starz series — Boss and Power — and his 2017 single, “Want More” with dancehall artist Kranium.

Rotimi will be joined by rapper Wale, known for his song “Dig Dug.”

Themed entertainment will also be featured on two stages each day of the festival.

The festival also includes vibrant drumming, collectible artifacts, hand-woven fabric and textiles and interactive spaces.

Tickets for these performances are included in the price of festival admission and can be purchased beginning at $15.


Friday Aug. 30 – “Steppin’ Under the Stars” 

Steppers Set with Ken Bedfor and Marzette Griffith

DJ Sam Chatman

Saturday Aug. 31 – “Afro Fusion”



Chai Tulani and Cald B (Band_

Melody Angel

Sunday Sept. 1 – “Into the Spirit”

Donnie McClurkin

Pleasant Green Choir

Chicago Mass Choir

The Kinsmen

Tim Branch and the New Generation AFRO JAZZ

Monday Sept. 2 – “The Soul of African Fest”

Ohio Players

Terisa Griffin


Tracye Eileen