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Honoring Orange County’s History at the 43rd Annual Black History Parade and Unity Festival

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

Participants in the Black History Parade in 2022. Credit: Photo courtesy of the Orange County Heritage Festival

Always the first Saturday of February, the Orange County Heritage Council’s 43rd Black History Parade and Unity Festival calls in all local businesses and community members to take a day to commemorate and bring together individuals who have uplifted the community and left their footprints in Orange County history.

While last year’s parade and festival had an excellent turnout, it was also the event’s first year back in person since the pandemic forced organizers to cancel it in 2021. With OCHC anticipating an even bigger turnout than last year, attendees can look forward to more food, entertainment, and plenty of parking.

In its 43rd year, “Our History, Our Voice, Our Pride” is the theme for this year’s Black History Parade and Unity Festival.

This annual tradition was started in 1980 in Santa Ana by the late Helen M. Shipp to “continue the traditions and culture of African Americans by honoring the achievements and contributions of Black history,” according to its website. The event is carried on by Shipp’s son and now-OCHC president, Dwayne “BH” (Be Humble) Shipp.

“I would encourage everyone to come because it’s not just Black history; it’s everyone’s history because it’s a history that has shaped this country,” said King Karlton, a Santa Ana musician performing at this year’s festival.

This full story can be accessed for free in its entirety at Voice of OC.



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