The front doors of the Historic Banning Woman's Club will open at noon on February 27, for a FREE event that will celebrate cultural diversity, while honoring a part of history rich in art, music, dance and so much more during the Black Heritage Day Celebration.
Highlights for the event include more youth participation this year, opening with the Pledge of Allegiance by the Boys and Girls Club of the San Gorgonio Pass and the ever youthful Yve Evans who will sing the National Anthem. This is the second year that the Banning Cultural Alliance will host the free event that will include performances by singers Yve Evans, Zelyne Ruldoph, and Jerome Robinson of Second Generation Platters fame.
As a part of the event Mayor Bob Botts will present Marion Johnson, Estelle Lewis and a surprise honoree with Mayoral Proclamations. Assemblyman Paul Cook's office has confirmed that they will be participating in the events with a special presentation of their own. Presentation speakers include Mayor Bob Botts, Art Welch, from Cook's office, Councilwoman Debbie Franklin and School Board President Deborah Dukes, who will also MC the event.
"I am very excited about the entire event and the youth participation this year," said Cindy Watson the event's coordinator.
"We have tap and jazz performances by Dance Spectrum of Beaumont," she said. Thirty local youth from Dance Spectrum are schedule to perform in a variety of routines that honor this part of Black culture.
The Alliance's own dance troop will also be part of a trilogy tribute performance to Michael Jackson (MJ).
According to Watson, who is the youth program director for the Alliance, there are three separate dance routines that combine for this portion of the program.
Performances are by the dance crew Beyond the Others, a solo performance by Judah Ruiz, as MJ and the Hyper Active Dance Troop. Ruiz is the star performer and is in all three dance routines, according to Watson. Ruiz was one of the top award winners, for his MJ performances in last summer's Pass Has Talent competition.
"These kids ages 6 to 16 have been working hard on their routines," said Watson. "They began practicing for the event in mid January with their new dance instructor Moses Ruiz and have been meeting Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings to prepare especially for this event," she added.
Additional performances include the Pass Area Gospel Choir and readings: by Shameca Tankerson and Beverly Rashidd.
After presentations and general performances the evening will wind down to performances by Jerome Robinson and Zelyne Ruldoph and a "Soul Full" Bar Be Que chicken dinner and dance.
"The dinner is on a first come basis," said Watson, who said that there is a suggested donation of $5 to $10 per plate.
"We need donations and support to allow us to continue such great events and programs here locally," said Watson. This free event will be at the Banning Woman's Club, 175 W. Hays, one block North of Ramsey at Second Street and is brought to you by the Banning Cultural Alliance.
For more information call (951) 922-0500 or (909) 645-6545.