Celebrating 25 years of Kwanzaa at the Cary Arts Center

For 25 years, the Town of Cary has celebrated Kwanzaa in collaboration with The Ujima Group. This year, Maulana Karenga, who founded the holiday in 1966, will speak during the program at the Cary Arts Center December 27. The Ujima Group’s founder, Lester Thomas, has been involved since the beginning of the festival. “It is a time for the community to come together and celebrate our diversity,” he says. “Kwanzaa is a community cultural celebration that highlights African-American heritage and family through seven values—unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.”

The day of free activities will include an official Kwanzaa ceremony, performances like a procession of elders and a Harambee Circle, plus a vendor market full of handmade and local wares. There’s also a Children’s Village, with arts and crafts, making the festival a family-friendly event. Robbie Stone, Arts Coordinator for the Town Cary, says this is one of the many examples of the area’s diverse community. “It’s a great way to experience something different right after Christmas. It’s not just for those who celebrate Kwanzaa, but for anyone curious in learning more.” —Catherine Currin

11 a.m.; free; townofcary.org