Weekend Festival Draws More Than Five Thousand Attendees
ABOVE: Children scrambling to gather eggs dropped from the helicopter
What was once a small event in one of Houston’s oldest neighborhoods has become a “must attend” celebration for residents and people across the city, as the Fifth Annual Lyons Avenue Renaissance Festival attracted more than 5,000 visitors throughout the day this past weekend.
“Many of the residents in this neighborhood were hit especially hard after Hurricane Harvey. We considered not having the festival at all this year,” said Kathy Payton, President and CEO of the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation (FWCRC). “But people look forward to this event and after surviving one of the worst disasters in American history, we needed to celebrate.”
The yearly festivities, hosted by the FWCRC and City of Houston Vice Mayor Pro-tem and Council Member for District B Jerry Davis, was kicked off with a parade featuring 20 “Harvey Heroes” who rode in Corvettes and waved to the crowd.
People could be seen dancing and singing along to the live music that was setup on three different stages. Some of the biggest local performers including Batala, Brian Jack and the Zydeco Gamblers, and Camera Cult, who performed for attendees throughout the afternoon.
Children, educators, business owners and others took pictures, mingled and shook hands with elected officials such as U.S. Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee, State Senator Borris Miles, State Rep. Harold Dutton and City Council Members Amanda K. Edwards and Dwight Boykins, who were in attendance as well.
One of the exciting points of the day was when the music stopped and a helicopter that was circling above dropped thousands of prize-filled, plastic eggs onto a field. Once the drop was complete, children sprinted to pick-up as many eggs as their little hands could gather.
“It is important to take time to celebrate the rich culture of the Fifth Ward,” said Davis. “We also want people to see and enjoy the revitalization taking place. The DeLuxe Theater is open for entertainment and social gatherings. Houston ISD’s Young Men’s Preparatory Academy is in its new building, and Legacy Community Health participated in the festival in front of the brand-new facility they opened this summer.”
Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that was started in April of 1989, by educators, clergy, residents and business owners. For more than 25 years FWCRC has built and sold homes, provided affordable housing, and worked to make the community a great place to live, work and play.