October 20, 2021

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Normal hair and magnificence festival returns to Tower Grove

4 min read

“I truly invite people to bring your children out mainly because it can be essential for our Black youngsters to see Black people in a favourable light-weight”

ST. LOUIS — Leslie Hughes has ideal to go to common out of condition festivals this kind of as Essence Fest in New Orleans and Afropunk in Atlanta, Brooklyn and Paris. 

Then, she thought of bringing a identical party to St. Louis.

“St. Louis is these types of an amazing location and this is exactly where I’m from,” Hughes claimed. “We have super remarkable people today, talented artists, business enterprise owners and entrepreneurs right here. Considering that I really like this city so substantially it only made sense to deliver [a festival] right here to give my hometown something constructive and uplifting to glimpse forward to.”

What started out as an notion to host a Black women’s brunch and panel discussion about hair care and problems surrounding all-natural hair blossomed into something considerably even bigger than her unique strategy.

Founded in 2017, Frizz Fest, Hughes’ yearly festival that celebrates beauty, hair care, self-like, self confidence, and unity, operates from 1-5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28 at Tower Grove Park. It operates less than Hughes’ nonprofit, Frizzy By Character, LLC.

“I try to remember the to start with just one. I retained saying ‘if only my household and friends exhibit up I’m good,’” she said.

“So several people confirmed up for the very first event, and I was shocked. Then, to see how substantially it has grown from 12 months-to- calendar year, that is how I know there’s a motive God gave me the vision to do some thing like this in St. Louis. People today required it and they definitely savored it.”

What would have been the festival’s 5th-calendar year anniversary very last calendar year was halted owing to the coronavirus pandemic. As an alternative, she hosted an in-particular person and virtual party ‘Walk The Walk’ in collaboration with Expensive Fathers, a multimedia system dedicated to celebrating fatherhood, brotherhood and mental wellness awareness amongst Black adult males.

“We essentially pivoted to Walk the Walk. We were being equipped to create an celebration on a more compact scale. The [WHAT PARK] park nonetheless permitted runs and walks in the park simply because it was a safer way to gather than acquiring so several people like we normally do.”

Frizz Fest returns to its typical in-individual procedure this 12 months. Generally, Hughes and her “small but mighty” workforce including her brother, Ricky Hughes, and his wife, Valerie Hughes, support her with preparing and planning. Its blueprint commonly starts as early as January, while it begun later on this year as they awaited confirmation from the metropolis that the party could take put.

Once receiving approval in June, Hughes admits the arranging was rushed as opposed to its regular rollout. 

‘It’s been a hurry but anything has occur alongside one another like it typically does and we’re just energized to pull it off this calendar year.” she mentioned.

This calendar year Frizz Fest has about 25 sellers, the most in its record. Just about all are community, small Black-owned firms displaying system care, jewellery, apparel, nail polish, art, adult coloring guides, hair care products and solutions, art and other goods.

There will also be a variety of foods distributors and meals vehicles on sight. For the to start with time, grownup beverages will be accessible, by neighborhood brewery 4 Arms Brewing Co.

Alonzo Townsend, founder of TownsendX3 Agency LLC Artist Administration and son of famed Blues legend Henry Townsend, will oversee the festival’s tunes and amusement. R&B vocalist Lydia Caesar, Blues singer Tiny Dylan and saxophonist Rhoda G will grace this year’s phase. DJ Nico Marie will DJ the event’s new music set.

There will also be quite a few activities for children, such as free pony rides.

“I seriously invite households to convey your youngsters out mainly because it is crucial for our Black youngsters to see Black people in a good mild specially since St. Louis receives a lousy rap a whole lot of periods,” Hughes claimed. “This showcases that is not the comprehensive trajectory of who we are.”

Mayor Tishaura Jones is scheduled to communicate and Alderwoman Shameem Clark-Hubbard will examine The CROWN Act (Producing a Respectful and Open up Environment for Natural Hair). This is the law that prohibits race-dependent hair discrimination in the office and academic institutions.

“I’m truly psyched about our definitely remarkable neighborhood leaders believing in the mission of Frizz Fest.” Hughes claimed.

Even though the pageant has generally had sponsorships from normal hair treatment companies, this yr will mark the very first time a brand representative will go to. A representative from Mielle Organics will have a booth delivering data about their solutions and giving out samples.

“The pageant has grown so significantly,” Hughes stated.

“We have so a lot of enjoyable additions that we have incorporated this calendar year. It keeps us determined that we’ve established an event that is essential and required here in the Black community in St. Louis.

“We really want the neighborhood to appear out and guidance this awesome celebration so that we can continue on pouring back again into the community that we enjoy so dearly and that is so shut to our hearts.” she reported.

There is a $5 admission price, and registration is demanded via the Eventbrite application. All small children 15 and under are free of charge.

For extra facts about Hughes and her competition, go to her website: https://frizzybynature.com/.

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