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Black History Month festival at Springs Preserve

The Springs Preserve will celebrate the contributions of African-Americans to the Las Vegas community with music, food and dance as it hosts its eighth annual Black History Month Festival, Saturday, Feb. 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hosted by emcee “Sweet” Lou Collins, the Black History Month Festival will include performances by singers Tiffane LeMay, Christian Shelton and Tymara Walker, a body percussion performance by Molodi, dance by the West Las Vegas Arts Center, and spoken word and traditional step performances. There will also be trail walks to the Dugout, a 140-year-old site where John Howell, the city’s first African-American rancher and landowner, lived in the early 20th Century.

Highlighting the event will be a posthumous award presentation to festival honoree Stella Mason Parson, the first African-American woman to attend and graduate from college in the state of Nevada. The daughter of a Mississippi sharecropper, she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from UNR 1952 and earned a Master’s degree from UNLV in 1986. She also taught in the Clark County School District for 33 years and, with her husband, founded the Vegas View Church of God in Christ in 1965.

In addition, the event will feature food from local soul food restaurants, cultural art and gift items, a historic black Las Vegas photo exhibit highlighting great African-American inventors, and activities for the kids including arts and crafts, carnival games, sketch artists and face-painting. Vegas PBS will also have a special preview of the local documentary, “African Americans: The Las Vegas Experience.”

Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 3 to 12. Tickets are available at the gate and in advance at springspreserve.org or the Springs Preserve box office, 333 S. Valley View Blvd., between U.S. 95 and Alta Avenue.

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