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A Block Party Success Story

Celebrating Diversity and Community in Newport News

Visit Newport News hosted an unforgettable event last month to kickstart our new tourism campaign, African American Cultural Experiences, in conjunction with Black Music Month.

Called Music Through the Decades, the event was an after-work party held on June 5 in City Center at Oyster Point. It featured the iconic sounds of Black music from various decades, changing every hour, along with student performances, line-dancing demonstrations, trivia and dance competitions, and a best-dressed contest for those who came dressed in their favorite decade!

The block party was wildly popular, with an outpouring of community support and engagement. It was a night filled with joy, unity, and celebration of African American culture. It was the ideal way to launch our AACE initiative – pronounced “Ace,our acronym for African American Cultural Experiences.

The atmosphere was electric, with people of all ages dancing and singing along to timeless hits. The food trucks offered a delicious array of goodies, adding to the festivities, as did the games, art exhibits, vendors, and community resources.

AACE creates an inclusive and welcoming hub for travelers, positioning Newport News as a destination that embraces and celebrates diversity. The campaign shines a spotlight on African American art, culture, and history, along with the numerous Black-owned businesses in Newport News.

And with Black Business Month coming up in August, this is a great time to show your support for our minority owned-and-operated businesses! Be sure and check out places like:

Supreme Restaurant & Lounge, a delightful eatery where you’ll find an extensive menu of traditional soul food options, such as oxtail, pig feet and fried gizzards.
City On My Chest, where you can have custom T-shirts, hats, etc., made that showcase your city, area code, street name, or whatever makes you proud of your hometown.
Scratch Bakery, known for their delectable array of sweets. Owner Lashonda Sanford went from food truck to Food Network after opening bakeries in Newport News (in Port Warwick) and Hampton.

These businesses – and many others – contribute to the rich cultural fabric of our cityand your patronage helps support their continued success. For a list of additional African American businesses that have become AACE Enterprise Partners and have made their places AACE Spaces, visit the AACE Storymap. To learn more about becoming an AACE Space, email AACE@nnva.gov. To download the AACE Passport and earn prizes and discounts when you visit AACE spaces visit the Experience Passes.

Stay tuned for more exciting events and updates from AACE as we continue to celebrate and promote the vibrant African American culture in Newport News! Join us on this transformative journey to foster unity, understanding, and pride. Together, we can explore, commemorate, and revel in the abundance of African American experiences in Newport News, Virginia!