A community event that started 16 years ago with just $100 transformed into a day-long festival bringing together Black, Hmong, Khmer, queer and trans communities.
Directors of Freedom Inc. Health Day, Kabzuag Vaj and M Adams, said having an open and welcoming space is “important to us and it is important to them.”
“This is the only event that brings Hmong, Cambodian and Black people together,” said Vaj.
Photos by Mackenzie Krumme.
On Saturday, Aug. 10 at Penn Park, between 400 and 500 people and more than 50 volunteers came to celebrate culturally specific health activities and gather in a communal space for this free event.
“What is healthy for you? What’s going on in your life?” asked Adams, director of Freedom Inc.
There was a castle bounce house, volleyball, kids games, spades tournament, UNO tournament, a talent show, and 5K run or walk that catered to nontraditional walkers and runners.
“It is designed to opt-out along the route, or pause. There are strollers, dogs, families,” said Vaj.
A couple other factors that drew large crowds were the basketball tournament, which for the past five years has been won by traveling sports team “D&T,” and the buffet-style food that is cooked by volunteers and staff.
“If you think about the concept of pride, you celebrate it. You celebrate it together, you celebrate it with community,” said Adams.