Kwanzaa celebrated in downtown Springfield

Eighth annual citywide celebration held at UMass Center in downtown Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The week-long holiday of Kwanzaa is underway, and for the eighth year in a row, there was an official citywide celebration in Springfield.

Some people wore traditional African garments as they listened to speeches, songs, and poetry at the UMass Center at Tower Square. Marjorie Moise, who was attending the celebration for the first time with her son, told 22News that she had only read about Kwanzaa before, and wanted to experience the holiday.

“Im very excited to be here for the first time- just to see the community come out to support a good cause, and just to learn more about it,” Moise said.

Tuesday’s celebration was organized by Mayor Domenic Sarno’s office, the Association of Black Business and Professionals, and the Black Leadership Alliance. Mayoral Aide Darryl Moss said that such celebrations are a priority for Mayor Sarno.

“This is something that contributes to all the vibrant cultural happenings downtown,” Moss said.

Kwanzaa is a celebration of African and African-American culture. It was first celebrated in the late 1960s, and derives its name from a Swahili word meaning “first fruits.” The holiday is celebrated each year from December 26 through January 1.

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