The 37th annual Lincolnville Festival was held Saturday and Sunday, and this year’s celebration coincided with the 150th birthday of the community, which was founded in 1866 in the southwest peninsula of St. Augustine. Ron Rawls, pastor at St. Paul AME Church, said his organization, St. Paul Development Center, began coordinating the event last year. The Lincolnville Festival first launched in 1979 in an effort to restore the historic community. “The community used to be predominantly African-American, and in recent years it’s been gentrified and the culture and history of the community is dissipating,” he said. “It’s important to maintain the history here in Lincolnville.” The area was founded by freed slaves and played a major role in the Civil Rights Movement as it served as the centerpiece for the movement led by Martin Luther King Jr. in St. Augustine, which led to the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The event kicked off on Saturday with a festival parade band performance at noon, and entertainment continued throughout the day until the last performance at 9 p.m.
Rawls said Sunday’s lineup was entirely dedicated to gospel music.
He added that children’s activities had been added and included bounce houses, face painting and basketball drills with the ABA National Champion Jacksonville Giants.