DETROIT (WWJ) – A festival making its debut this weekend will bring back some of the magic of an entertainment and business district recalled from Detroit’s past.
Great music, food and musicians are on agenda for the inaugural Detroit Paradise Valley Music Festival, which will be held at Paradise Valley Park, formerly known as Harmonie Park.
In honor of this rich tradition — music greats including Ronnie Laws and Howard Hewett will perform for the hundreds of thousands of Metro Detroiters expected to attend.
Talking to WWJ Newsradio 950’s Chrystal Knight, event producer Johnny Washington talked about the days of Detroit’s original Paradise Valley.
“Imagine when Joe Louis won the heavy-weight championship of the world, where did he go with his belt when he came home? He went to Paradise Valley — the parades were in the streets — Billie Holiday would come to Detroit and perform for a week,” Washington said.
According to Washington, the original Paradise Valley comprised 66 blocks where African-Americans lived, worked and played. There were more than 350 African-American-owned businesses in the area – serving the community by day, while night clubs provided world-class entertainment after dark. The clubs hosted greats including Duke Ellington, Sammy Davis Jr., Josephine Baker and many others.
Festival hours are 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Friday, July 13, Saturday, July 14, and Sunday, July 15. All events are free to the public.
Get complete details at this link.