By Mike McClure

After a two year hiatus due to COVID-19, the Eastern Shore AFRAM Festival will return on Saturday, Aug. 13 in a new location. This year’s event will take place at the Ross Station Event Center at 585 N. Market Street in Seaford.

“I’m really excited to be at Ross Station. I feel like we belong there,” said AFRAM organizer Pat Jones, who said it was her dream to bring the event to Ross Mansion. “It’s just a beautiful location and there’s so much history for our people.”

The Seaford Historical Society will offer tours of Ross Mansion during AFRAM. The mansion once included slave quarters. There will also be a historic component of the opening ceremony.

AFRAM began at Nutter Park, where it took place for 15 years before moving to the Jays Nest sports complex. This year the event moves across the street to the Ross property.

The annual AFRAM festival will feature comedy, reggae, cornhole, and a large assortment of entertainment. Jones calls it one of the largest cultural events in Sussex County.

“It’s just a great lineup for a very deserving community,” said Jones, who called the event a melting pot. “It’s for the people and by the people.”

Jones is looking for a successor to step up and keep the festival going next year. In the meantime, she is looking forward to the 25th annual event at its new venue.

“We’re really looking forward to AFRAM. I’m so excited about showing our culture and history at one of the most historic places in Seaford,” Jones said. “I hope the community is excited. This is going to be the best one yet.”

Check out the Aug. 4 Seaford Star for the Eastern Shore AFRAM section, with information on the event’s performers.