What is the Northside Festival?
It’s not an information fair. It’s not an amusement park. It’s not a market. Nothing’s for sale. Everything’s free—and everybody’s free. Nobody can afford what anyone else can’t and everybody’s everybody.
The Northside Festival renews the end-of-year festivities at Orange County Training School, the Black school that used to stand on the ground of the new Northside Elementary. The May Pole ribbons will be flying. Kids of ALL ages are invited to join in old-school potato sack and 3-legged races.
It’s a union and reunion. Whether your cousins or teachers lived in Northside homes, or you’ve just moved in, or you worship at one of our pillar churches, or you have a friend who has done a, b, or c, or you’ve just heard how great this neighborhood is and always has been: join us! Come dance in the street, play Spades, feast. Re-unite!
It’s a celebration of gifts. You will be knocked out by our local talent—Bubba Norwood on drums, the amazing Jr. Weaver Gospel Singers, the CEF Advocacy Choir offering yet more of its ingenious adaptations of popular songs in support of affordable housing.
And it’s an anniversary! The Marian Cheek Jackson Center and the Community Empowerment Fund are each celebrating 10 years in community. What a joy. To mark the day, we’re hosting the Rev. Troy F. Harrison Honorary Pig Pickin’—with the help of our friends at the Parrish Brothers farm. Your plate is waiting.
Great music, great food, great people. In the end, the Festival is about being together in the face of everything that would keep us apart.
I can’t wait to see you.
It’s a Parrish Brothers Pig Pickin’ in Honor of Rev. Harrison
We are blessed to be partnering with the Parrish Brothers, Melvin & David, to host the Rev. Troy F. Harrison Honorary Pig Pickin’ at the Northside Festival. The Parrish Brothers are known for their beautiful worship services, their delicious bbq, their generous spirits, their deep faith & dedication to their land.
For years, Parrish Bros Farm has partnered with Heavenly Groceries to eliminate food waste and create a better food system. They continue to own and operate one of the longest standing black-owned farms in Orange County. The Parrish family has had a role in building and sustaining every part of Chapel Hill/Carrboro.
If you haven’t been lucky enough to have their barbecue, you may remember their sister Louise’ famous pies & pound cakes at the Carrboro Farmer’s Market. Regardless, you won’t want to miss this – 150 lbs of delicious, local hog!
And don’t worry. If you don’t eat pork, we’ll have a wide variety of food for you too. We’re proud to share the best food yet in honor of Rev Troy Harrison, former pastor at St. Joseph, co-founder of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center, and low-country chef supreme.