The recession will not keep Lexington from celebrating cultural roots at the annual Roots and Heritage Festival.
Although the festival includes events throughout September, the centerpiece of the celebration, the three-day street festival, will be Friday through Sunday.
"Although our festival, much like many other businesses and festivals, has taken a financial hit due to the economy, we are definitely going to continue with the three-day kick-off festival," festival chairwoman Kimberly Baird said.
There will be many tributes this year, including a special honor to music legends Michael Jackson and Isaac Hayes. And, because the festival begins on Sept. 11, there will be a memorial to the victims of the 9/11 attacks.
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"We definitely want to remember the special people who have passed away this past year and the people whose lives were unfortunately taken in the tragedy of 9/11," Baird said.
There also will be an event to honor President Barack Obama, the first African-American president.
On the festival's opening day, old-school R&B music headliners will entertain at the Friday Nite Blues-N-Street. That begins at 6:30 p.m. at Stage I, at Third Street and Elm Tree Lane.
The annual Roots and Heritage Parade will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, going from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Fifth Street and then to Race Street.