Pompano Beach CRA kicks off the holiday season on Saturday, December 2nd with the 8th Annual Light Up MLK event featuring live local musical performances, a new MLK Holiday Market, a beautiful tree lighting ceremony and exciting before-and after-events at Historic Ali Cultural Arts. “Light Up MLK is a fun and festive day for the entire family,” said Tiara Striggles, CRA special events and marketing manager. “It is an opportunity for residents and visitors to experience what Downtown Pompano Beach is becoming; a lively and exciting, walkable district with a variety of activities to enjoy including live music, shopping, dining and cultural exhibits.”
During the day, attendees will enjoy live entertainment hosted by Hot 105.1 radio personalities Tamara Gant & Rodney Baltimore. Among other amazing performances, national recording artist Jimmy Bo Horne will also perform. Children will be invited to participate in an array of interactive holiday festivities including, live holiday characters, stilt walkers, sugar cookie decorating, holiday card & ornament making, and interactive art. Santa will make a special appearance in the City’s Antique Fire truck to spread his jolly good cheer throughout the park, while distributing candy and taking holiday gift wishes from kids of all ages! Event attendees will enjoy complimentary non-alcoholic beverages and bites that will be available from neighboring restaurants including Bojo’s Seafood and Finley’s Taste of the Real Bahamas Restaurant, both tenants in the CRA’s 731 Retail Shoppes on Martin Luther King Blvd. Additionally, the CRA will have stations to share information and gather public input regarding redevelopment ideas to improve the Annie Adderly Gillis Park, creating a more inviting community-gathering plaza.
This year’s event will also feature the new MLK Holiday Market, a popup retail market at Annie Gillis Park and along MLK Boulevard, established for local entrepreneurs to showcase their creations and discover new opportunities to grow their businesses.
“Providing a pop-up retail opportunity like this for local artisans and entrepreneurs is one of the many ways CRA’s activate redevelopment areas and showcase the area’s potential to residents, future business owners and investors,” said Idella Grisset, CRA communications director. The Holiday Market vendors will feature a variety of specialty gift items, and attendees will have the opportunity to shop with and support small, local businesses in Pompano Beach.
To round out the festive evening, the Historic Ali Cultural Arts will present a special Light Up MLK Ali After Hours event. The concert will begin at 8pm, opening with Ali’s house band, Ali Soul Connection. They will be followed at 9pm by the Miami Sound Byte Band, playing all your favorite R&B, Motown, funk and pop hits!
Noon – 4 pm: Esther Rolle Exhibit Closing Reception at the Historic Ali Cultural Arts
4– 8 pm: 8th Annual Light Up MLK and Holiday Market at Annie Adderly Gillis Park
7 pm: Official 36’ Tree Lighting Ceremony in the Park
8– 11 pm: Light Up MLK Ali After Hours free concert event
Annie Adderly Gillis Park is located at 601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Historic Ali Cultural Arts is located at 353 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
The Historic Ali Cultural Arts is located in the former home of the late Frank and Florence Major Ali, who had emigrated from Cuba and The Bahamas respectively. As the first African American business owners in Pompano Beach, Frank operated a barbershop and Florence, who was a skilled seamstress, cosmetologist and fashion designer, also operated her business in the building. This two-story property was built in 1933 and placed on the City of Pompano Beach Historical Register in 2016.
The City of Pompano Beach, Pompano Beach Community Redevelopment Agency and the Rock Road Restoration Historical Group preserve the northwest corridor history and culture by telling positive stories of the African American experience through performing arts, visual arts and intellectual work that educates and celebrates all people of color throughout history.
A Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) is a dependent district established by City government for the purpose of carrying out redevelopment activities that include reducing or eliminating blight, improving the economic health of an area, and encouraging public and private investments in a CRA district. The CRA is governed by State Statutes, Chapter 163, Part III. The Pompano Beach Community Redevelopment Agency is funded through Tax Increment Financing (TIF). The funds are collected as property values increase and a portion of that increase is captured by the Agency. TIF raises revenue for redevelopment efforts without raising taxes.