CINCINNATI — The annual Black Family Reunion event returns to Cincinnati this year after being forced to celebrate digitally in 2020. The three-day event features food, entertainment, community resources and, of course, family.
"So much has gone on in the last couple of years, but this is about family," said Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac. "This is about celebrating the Black family."
On Saturday, a morning parade through Avondale kicked off the event; in it marched members of the local community, from young athletes to dance groups like the Cin-City Shakers.
"It means the whole world to me," said Paris Jones, a Junior Olympic track athlete. "I love to be in parades."
Each year, the Black Family Reunion seeks to celebrate, unify and support Black families. It's one of the only events of its kind that still exists in the U.S.
"There's not like a lot of days where you get to see like a lot of families out here," said Jammel Caine Jr., an attendee of the parade. "So I think it's cool."
Organizers said each year the event draws around 10,000 people. This year, they're hoping some will also take advantage of a new opportunity: free COVID-19 vaccines.
"It's about family," said Michael Washington, chief of the Cincinnati Fire Department. "This vaccination can prevent needless death and destruction to families, all families."
Beyond the larger goals, organizers and those in attendance said they're also simply happy for the chance to come together after a year of isolation during the pandemic.
On Sunday, the Black Family Reunion Celebration will run from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Sawyer Point Park.