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10 Ways To Celebrate Kwanzaa In Chicago

Looking for a family-friendly Kwanzaa event near you? We've got you covered.

Kwanzaa is an African-American holiday celebrated Dec. 26-Jan. 1.
Flickr/Black Hour
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CHICAGO — Thursday is the first official day of Kwanzaa, the African-American and Pan-African holiday traditionally celebrated Dec. 26- Jan. 1.

Here’s a handy guide to the city’s celebrations.

Thursday, Dec. 26

From noon-2:30 p.m. Dec. 26, the DuSable Museum, 740 E. 56th Place, is kicking off the holiday with Kwanzaa 2019: 400 Years Of Resistance, hosted by the Bolozi Wazee Council of Elders. The free event will feature performances by Maggie Brown, Mr. Tap and Fred Baker, the Thunder Sky Drummers, Armen Rah and Sax Preacher.

Friday, Dec. 27

The Black Mall is hosting Kwanzaa Celebration Harambee na Nguzo Saba 2019 from 4-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27 at Chicago State University, 9501 S. King Drive.

Saturday, Dec. 28

The Black Star Project, 3509 S. King Drive, is holding its annual Kwanzaa Event and Business Showcase from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28. Hosted by Revin Fellows and Africa Porter, the free event promises food, entertainment and more. Register here.

Malcolm X College, 1900 W. Jackson Blvd., will be celebrating Kwanzaa 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 28, with presentations, a drum call, a vendor marketplace, and a number of performances, including one from Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago. The event is free.

South Side Community Art Center, 3831 S. Michigan Ave., is throwing a free day-long Kwanzaa event from 1-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28. The program will include a Kwanzaa candle lighting ceremony, a fashion show and a networking after-party for entrepreneurs.

ADODI Chicago‘s free Kwanzaa celebration is also on Saturday from 1-4:30 p.m. at Harris Park, 6200 S. Drexel Ave. The event will include storytelling, drumming, a candle-lighting ceremony and dancing.

The Monarch Awards Foundation and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s Xi Nu Omega Chapter is hosting their Kwanzaa celebration from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at Carter G. Woodson Library, 9525 S. Halsted St. The free all-ages event will feature arts and crafts, face painting, and a “spoken word” cafe for teens.

Sisters On A Journey‘s annual Kwanzaa gathering will be from 3-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28, at the Historic Quaker House, 5615 S. Woodlawn Ave. Guests are encouraged to bring a dish or non-alcoholic beverage to share, if they’re able.

Sunday, Dec. 29

Hartzell Memorial United Methodist Church‘s annual Worship Celebration will feature African dance, drumming, and a performance from Hartzell’s choir. The free event runs from 10:30 a.m.-noon, Sunday, Dec. 29.

The 5th Annual Ujamaa Empowerment Expo, hosted by The Black Mall, United Black American Progress Association & Helping Hands 4 U will be at Hales Franciscan High School, 4930 S. Cottage Grove Ave., from 4-9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 29. The event will include panels, a Power of the Black Dollar forum and a vendor fair.

Christian Love M.B. Church, 535 N. Spaulding Ave., is hosting its 2nd annual celebration 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 29, with seven pastors preaching the seven principles of Kwanzaa, including Bishop Anne Henning Byfield, Rev. Craig Robinson, and Rev. Andre A. Kirkland. The event is free.

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