NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - On this Fourth of July, thousands pack the Mercedes Benz Superdome for a concert put on by the Essence Music Festival. But before the party, folks flocked to the Morial Convention Center, to learn about the real meaning behind the fest.
Essence Fest is all about good music, good company and having a good time! But there's also a deeper meaning, incorporating African American history, empowerment and inspiration.
"I'm trying to get my granddaughter acclimated to the culture that we have here," attendee Carolyn Espadron said.
Vendor Cynthia Fearing says, "When I come here, it's not just to share my art, but I'm inspired by what I see and the people I meet."
Vendors set up inside the Convention Center come from all over the country.
Showing off her artwork, vendor Minnie Watkins says, "This is all acrylic, acrylic painting, I particularly like doing musicians."
Watkins believes her work of musicians young and old helps bridge generational gaps. "That's just my passion," Watkins commented.
The music and motivational speeches also bring people together, like the one Saturday from TV personality Steve Harvey.
"It gives people an opportunity to come out, meeting other people from around the world, because people come to Essence Fest from all over," Corey Davis said.
And from here in New Orleans! "Sometimes you can be a tourist in your own city," Sabrina Dominic added.
Jerome and Polly Kelly are taking in essence for the first time, coming from Alabama. "It's massive down here with all the people, it's great," Jerome Kelly said.
Having only been here two days, the festival has already made a big impression on them, they're planning a trip back! "Hopefully next year," Polly Kelly said.
Because they say just a few days time isn't enough to take in all that the Essence Festival has to offer.
Sunday is the last day of the festival. It'll end with a concert in the Superdome, headlined by Kendrick Lamar.