Honoring the Past. Celebrating the Present. Embracing the Future.

Lexington Roots & Heritage Festival Celebrates over 25 years of Diversity | Kickoff September 11-13 in Lexington Ky

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How do you remember September?


For over 25 years the weekend following Labor Day — the Roots and Heritage Festival has been a pinnacle of regional diversity providing entertainment & education for all ages. We invite you to join us and celebrate our rich heritage at our month-long events.

The colorful pageantry of the festival, combined with its high quality offerings of cultural and educational programs,  has earned its recognition as one of the Top Twenty Events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society and One of the Top Ten Festivals in Kentucky.We invite you to join us!

View our Annual Insert the Key News-Journal!

Support our festival programming with your donation to our community!




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How do I become a Vendor?

The Roots and Heritage Festival showcases the regions most diverse vendors from food, clothing, literature, music and art. Vendors can download our Vendor Application. We also offer an information line at 859.276.3262 for you convenience.

We encourage our vendors to purchase an official Roots & Heritage T-shirt and further support our festival of diversity.


2015 Roots & Heritage Vendor Application (PDF)

Complete 2015 Roots & Heritage Online Vendor Application



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Click on an image below for more information about our event categories.

Friday Sept 11, 2015
Elm Tree Lane
African American Marketplace

Friday hours: 7pm-11pm | Saturday hours: 11am-11pm | Sunday hours: 10am-5pm

Shop the diverse vendors along the one mile stretch of the historic open market place!

Saturday Sept 12, 2015
12:00pm - 4:00pm
KidsFest Sponsored by Passport Health Plan

It’s ALL about the kids! Join us for a FULL DAY near the corner of Short and Elm Tree Lane from 12pm-5pm. KidsFest is bigger than ever this year with many activities for children to learn play and grow!

Apply to be a vendor online

Elm Tree Lane
African American Marketplace

Friday hours: 7pm-11pm | Saturday hours: 11am-11pm | Sunday hours: 10am-5pm

Shop the diverse vendors along the one mile stretch of the historic open market place!

3:00- 6:00pm
Upstage: Youth Competition

Ages 17 & younger, this is your chance to shine! Submit your performance info to stage2@rootsfestky.com. Winners recieve a historic performance on Stage 1! Deadline to submit is September 5, 2015.

Click here to apply online!

Heritage Parade

The parade begins at 11:00 a.m. at the corner of 4th and Elm Tree Lane and ends just prior to the historic Lyric Theatre. Then join us again at 4th and Elm Tree Lane for the Parade Band Showcase!

Click to download the 2015 Parade Entry Form  | Click to download the 2015 Permission Slip | Click here to download 2015 Liability Form | Click here to apply online for the 2015 Heritage Parade

1:00 - 4:00p
Roots Chess Tournament Presented by: Isaacs & Issacs

Sunday Sept 13, 2015
Elm Tree Lane
African American Marketplace

Friday hours: 7pm-11pm | Saturday hours: 11am-11pm | Sunday hours: 10am-5pm

Shop the diverse vendors along the one mile stretch of the historic open market place!

3:00 - 5:00pm
Gospel Celebration

Last but certainly not least is our GOSPEL CELEBRATION Sunday Sept 13th at 3pm inside the The Lyric Theatre & Cultural Arts Center! Event Headliners TBA!

Doors open at 2:30pm! Limited Seating available and is first come first served! Be there and celebrate with Roots & Heritage! #RootsFestKy


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Saturday Night Headliner

The R&B gTrooproup hails from Pasadena, California. The group has had five number one singles and ten top ten singles on the Billboard R&B Charts.They have also completed five albums, which include three certified gold and one certified platinum albums.

The group consisted of members Steve Russell, Allen McNeil, John Harreld, Rodney Benford and Reggie Warren.

Their hits songs included “Mamacita”, “Spread My Wings, “All I Do Is Think of You”, “Sweet November”, “I’m Not Souped”, “That’s My Attitude” to name a few.

The group is currently working on new music and touring. They recently did a surprise apperance on the 2014 BET Awards performing in a flashback segment along with Silk and Color Me Badd.

D-Funk All-stars

DFunkAllstarsThe D Funk All-stars are an old school funk band specializing in the” Dayton sound.”

Originall from Dayton OH the band consists of players: John Watson – drums, Deron Bell – keys, Micheal Allemby – alto sax, JT Fedrick – Tenor Sax, Billy Ward – trumpet, Tony Allen – guitar, Sonja Milsap – vox, Shauni Maque Merriweather – vox Ronald (Peanut) Frost Bass and Ronald Nooks on Keyboard.


‘Lil G’ Jenkins Lead Singer of SILK

LilGGary ‘Lil G’ Jenkins is the lead singer of the multi-platinum world-renown R&B recording group Silk and co-star of the hit Tyler Perry stageplay “Madea’s Family Reunion.”

While attending Tennessee State University (TSU) in Nashville, Gary majored in music, with an emphasis in piano and voice. As a member of the prestigious TSU Jazz Collegians, he was selected to accompany Dizzy Gillespie on piano during Gillespie’s visit to the school. He also appeared in several opera productions and performed with the TSU marching band.

In addition to ongoing solo singing performances with the Salty Suga Band, stage play performances and touring with Silk, Gary is also a member of the R&B supergroup, Blayse, along with Marc Nelson and Tony Grant formerly of Az Yet and Terrell Phillips formerly of Blackstreet.



Sunday Headliner
Sjuwana Byers Springfield

Sjuwana hails from one of the south’s regional hotbeds for gospel music, The Great State of Alabama. Alabama is home to hundreds if not thousands of regional gospel artists that go from community to community spreading good southern gospel.

For many years of her young life, Sjuwana was part of this kind of culture. Just Havin’ Church (their first Rampart Street release) aptly fits the description for having a good ole “camp meeting time,” anywhere the Spirit hits you. It’s just the make-up of the South, even today. In the early 80’s her family moved from the South to the North (Cincinnati, Ohio) for economic reasons. One of the things she missed most in the North was the way they used to have church back home in Alabama. She decided to form her own group, something that would be close to what she was accustomed. In this way, she could transplant the south to the North.

In May 1997 Sjuwana Byers formed Children of God. The group consists of mostly family members. Sjuwana has arranged that everybody in her family either sing or play an instrument. The group signed with internationally acclaimed rampart Street Music label and has made appearances all over the country, even abroad in Italy, France and Sicily. Their first release “JUST HAVIN’ CHURCH” topped the charts in Florida, Alabama, Colorado, Tennessee, Ohio, and in the Carolinas. Their second release on Rampart Street Music, “ALIVE IN GREENVIL Italy did equally well with the regional radio stations and is a big hit in Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas.

They have released a total of four cd’s all of which hit the charts and they are currently working on their fifth cd, soon to be released. Sjuwana and COG have shared the stage with other great artist as Lisa Knowles, Tim Rodgers, Lee Williams, Doc Mckenzie, Darrell McFadden, Vashawn Mitchell, and Kim Burrell, just to name a few. They have appeared on the Bobby Jones show and the Bobby Hearn show in Atlanta.



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Be a part of our community. Be a Sponsor!

Our month long events represents an exceptional opportunity to put your company’s brand in front of a wide audience that could have direct interest in your products. By becoming one of our sponsors, you have the chance to reach a unique targeted audience and demonstrate your businesses diverse activism within the local community.


For sponsorship information email: sponsors@rootsfestky.com

Contact Us

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How to Reach Us

General Inquiries: info@rootsfestky.com


Parade inquiries: parade@rootsfestky.com

Vendor inquiries: vendors@rootsfestky.com


For Music & Entertainment inquiries

Main Stage: Stage1@rootsfestky.com

Youth Stage: Stage2@rootsfestky.com

Gospel Stage: gospel@rootsfestky.com


For Fine Art inquiries: arts@rootsfestky.com

For t-shirts inquiries: tshirts@rootsfestky.com

Stay in touch

Please contact us for general information on our events! We hope the Roots & Heritage Festival is a great way to remember September!