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North Fontana Black History Parade

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The North Fontana Parade Committee hosted a Cultural Arts Festival and Black History Parade on Saturday, February 22, 2003. The event was co-sponsored by the City of Fontana Recreation and Community Services Division.

The parade began at 10:00 am at Arrow Blvd. and proceeded south on Sierra Avenue to Merrill approximately one mile. The parade hosted participants from the field of dance, music, entertainment, and civic organizations.
The judges selected De Ja Blu for “Best Entry”, High Rollers for “Marching Band”, and 2nd Baptist Church for “Drill Team”. The parade was recorded for replay on the local cable station.

In honor of Dr. King’s Vision, the theme for this year’s event was “Cultural Diversity”. Many came out and enjoyed the festivities of this annual 36th year celebration.
The Cultural Arts Festival was held from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Jessie Turner Center in North Fontana. Many guests experienced diverse culture through art, music, fashion, food, crafts, theater, dance and vendors.

The requirements for Miss Black Fontana this year were that the participants reside in Fontana and be between the ages of 16 –19. Four beautiful young ladies took the trophies beginning with Finessa Haynes, crowned “Miss Black Awareness”, Shatera Adams received “Princess”, Eboni Mason was “2nd Runner Up”, and Marquita Stamps was “3rd Runner Up”.

By popular demand, Hip-Hop recording artist Da’ Wazkels returned this year. An Al Green impressionist performed “Let’s Stay Together”, “Love and Happiness” and several other hits. Other performers included Missing Link, The Lei Ka Kala Fontana Polynesian Dancers, Lighthouse Community Church Children’s Choir, Ben Goodman & Friends, Christ Centered Ministries’ Mark Anthony, Touched By Grace Records and Ballet Folklorico.

Food vendors such as Blimpies, Valley of the Dogs and Snow Cone Express provided tasty cuisine. B & H Performance Boats, which is the only Black owned boat manufacturer in the country, displayed several boats at the festival.

Other vendors included Fontana Rialto N.A.A.C.P., C n’ R IMAGES’ Island Dreams, Black Voice News, Blacks in Government, Women in Excellence, and the 9 to 5 National Association of Working Women, and Art Diaspora.

Among the many corporate sponsors were Crown Lexus and Savage B.M.W. of the Ontario Auto Center, Valley Auto Center, Amerihost Hotel, State Farm Insurance, Cypress Realty, and Ace TV and Furniture Rental.

The North Fontana Parade Committee was formed in 1967 by Mrs. Jessie M. Turner to serve the community and it’s development primarily for North Fontana residents.
In an effort to establish a strong sense of community, financially, economically, as well as politically, The Jessie Turner Center has made it their personal endeavor to educate individuals and in addition, prepare them for the workforce.

The training includes counseling, tutoring, mentoring, identifying personal goals, financial, social, political, self esteem and even personal grooming.

Former President of the North Fontana Parade Committee and newly installed Commissioner of the Community Action Committee of Fontana, Aubrey Ward, Jr.’s personal goal while being there in the Community Center during parade planning, observing the demographics of the area, is to provide an atmosphere where the young people may indulge in more than just sports.

They will be able to experience learning about Fashion, Food, Art, Literature, Music, Film and T.V.

Without the proper motivation and support, Aubrey believes some of our most prolific future artists will be lost.

Within the next five years, Aubrey has planned to either acquire or build a full service complex. A compound outside of The Jessie Turner Center where the focus is after school and sports programs, he intends to establish one of the first Major Art Centers here in the Inland Empire.

A full service industry where young people as well as adults can utilize studios for Fashion Design, Film Making, Audio as well Video Production, A Culinary Department, Interior Design, Literature, Dance and much more.

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