The 14th Street Community Center is readying for a fundraiser filled with heritage from the soul this September, with the Annual Soul Food and Music Fest entering its fourth season.
“I was helping lead it last year and I think it actually went over super well. The food was amazing,” 14th Street Community Center Co-Chair of Development Sarah Redoutey said. “People came out to enjoy the music and day. We actually moved it outside last year, due to Covid, and it was really enjoyable.”
Redoutey serves as co-chair of development, alongside Joe Green, who she said she enjoys working with. Redoutey also explained that, due to the popularity of it being outside last year, the event will be inside and outside this year.
A tent and the Boneyfiddle Project’s Final Friday stage will be outside for the music portion of the event and the doors to the 14th Street will be open for air-conditioned enjoyment throughout.
“People really like it and having music outside really draws the neighbors in, because you don’t have to pay for the music,” Redoutey said. “The food ticket is what the cost is, so a lot of people in the community walked over to check out the free music.”
A meal ticket is $25 and includes pork spareribs, fried chicken, greens, baked beans, mac and cheese, rolls, a dessert and a drink. The food is being prepared by Kate Barlow and friends.
“I got to take some taste testing for some of the sides and they’re phenomenal, so the food is going to be absolutely off the charts, as my father-in-law always says,” Redoutey said. “We have both spareribs and chicken, so you don’t have to choose.”
In addition to the meal, there will also be further food options at a different price. Those foods include beans and cornbread and fried sweet corn. Redoutey said those prices are $3.25 each.
Featured music is local favorite, Mikey Mike and the Big Unit; Menace; Town Folk; DJ Drew Carter; and Kingdom Builders Choir.
“I think they’re [Mikey Mike and the Big Unit] perfect for what we are doing with soul food and music,” Redoutey claimed. “They’ve got that vibe with the big band music and Chelsea Watkins’ voice being so big and amazing. I think it is special to have them.”
Redoutey said that the Community Center is excited to have the added additional bands to the lineup this year. She is especially happy to have the Kingdom Builders Choir to invoke a totally different flair.
“I think the music is a great aspect of the event for people to come out and hear different types of music,” Redoutey said. “We have a little bit of a spectrum and we’re trying to invoke that soul kind of feel with this festival.”
The Soul Food and Music Fest will be at 1222 14th Street, September 25, between 3 and 7 p.m. Redoutey said she believes this fundraiser is important to the fabric of the community.
“Soul food and music is part of the culture of the north end of the city. It is a predominantly black community that the community center has always served,” said Redoutey. “It is something important to them and we try to keep that heritage and culture going.”
Redoutey went on to say that the event is also important for economic reasons.
“This is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and we are seeking business donors and large donors for this,” Redoutey explained. “We combined our annual sponsorship drive with this, so, we aren’t asking money from local businesses more than once. We really want to make this one as grand as we can, as far as fundraising goes.”
The 14th Street Community Center hosts a myriad of programming for adults and children alike. The fundraiser benefits their efforts to support the communities in need that they serve. More information can be found at www.14streetcc.org.
Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved