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Afrikan Poetry Theatre to celebrate Kwanzaa

The spirit of Kwanzaa is coming to the Rochdale Village Community Center Sunday as part of a fifth-annual event held by the complex and the Afrikan Poetry Theatre.

“It should be a nice event,” said Byron Perry, administrative assistant at the theater. “It’s focused on unity.”

The fun starts at 1 p.m. at the community center at 169-65 137th Ave. and runs until 8 p.m.

Afrikan Poetry Theatre Executive Director John Watusi Branch is expected to explain the concept of Kwanzaa — an African-American holiday founded by Maulana Karenga in Los Angeles in 1966 — to attendees of the event.

Admission is $5 for adults and a dollar for children under 18.

Perry said 800 people were expected to attend Sunday’s event, which will feature three caterers offering vegetarian, soul food and Caribbean dishes.

Nine performers — most of them from Queens — will be dancing and singing for the crowd.

“We use a lot of Queens-based talent,” Perry said, noting some of the singers and dancers live at Rochdale Village.

Some of the performers that have been in past shows include members of the Black Spectrum Theatre, the Rochdale Village Elite Drum Corps and Batingua Arts, an African drum group.

Along the perimeter of the community center will be product vendors offering everything from African-inspired clothes to jewelry and books.

For more information call 718−523−3312.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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