NEW BERN, N.C. -- The scent of festival foods, smiling faces and laughter filled the streets of the greater Duffyfield community. The time had come again for the locals to gather and celebrate their heritage and progress within the African–American community.
The Greater Duffyfield Residents Council hosted the 13th Annual Greater Duffyfield Unity Family Festival, also known as DUFFEST, May 10 at George Street Park and Kafer Parks in New Bern.
The residents’ council is an organization of local citizens, faith-based institutions, youth, businesses and public agencies that strive to improve, maintain and promote the Duffyfield community.
The purpose of the festival is to bring families and the community together to celebrate what makes the Duffyfield area a place that honors and cherishes its heritage.
This year’s festival included more than 12 performers from the local community like Mandee “Starchild” Melendez, Kingdom King and special performer Alonzo “Turf” Jones from the popular television show America’s Got Talent. The performers welcomed the participants to sing, dance and celebrate with them during another year of DUFFEST.
In addition to the performers, vendors and exhibitors from the surrounding community came to participate and offer the residents tools to leading a successful life. Exhibitors included, Craven Community College representatives, the New Bern Historical Society and the New Bern Police Department.
As if the performer and vendors weren’t enough, participants were given an opportunity to ride horses, get their faces painted and socialize with each other.
Food from local organizations and businesses within the community was available for festival attendees to enjoy. Some of the foods the attendees ate ranged from the tradition funnel cake to pizza created by Little Caesars’.
This is a time for everyone to mingle and learn something different about themselves and the duffyfield community, according to Sue Steinhauser, the community development coordinator for the city of New Bern.
Steinhauser has attended multiple DUFFESTs in the past. She said the number of attendee’s increases and the festival is better year after year.
Just like Steinhauser, many residents within the community attend the festival almost regularly, and enjoy attending each time they come.
“I really enjoyed myself this year,” said Diamond Nicodemus, a local resident of the Duffyfield community. “The kids loved the horse ride, they ate all kinds of food and not once did they complain about being bored, which is seldom.”