Flooding damages thousands of dollars of equipment at Kuumba Fes

Flooding damages thousands of dollars of equipment at Kuumba Festival

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"All the kids still came out. It didn't stop them, so we were like let's just do something, celebrate," said Ajanaku. "All the kids still came out. It didn't stop them, so we were like let's just do something, celebrate," said Ajanaku.
"Even today through the rain and the storm we are sticking it out and we're going to meet more people and experience more of the wonderful pageantry that we've seen," said Mfomboutmoun. "Even today through the rain and the storm we are sticking it out and we're going to meet more people and experience more of the wonderful pageantry that we've seen," said Mfomboutmoun.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Some flooding at Chilhowee Park did not stop many people from coming out to one Knoxville festival Saturday.

An afternoon rainstorm left organizers of the Kuumba Festival scrambling to stay dry.

"It was sunny. Everybody was saying it was hot. Next thing you know, look up in the sky, it was cloudy and that rain just came down all of a sudden. I'm just trying to stay positive. We cannot stop nature, and nature does what it do and we still have to live and survive through it," said organizer Bolanile Ajanaku.

A sudden downpour filled much of Chilhowee Park with water leaving the concert stage and part of the vendor area flooded and knocking out power to much of the park.

"We battened down the hatches and we rode it out, just prayed a little that the thunder wouldn't do anything," said vendor Faida Mfomboutmoun.

The rain actually caused about $20,000 worth of damage to the sound stage and sound equipment, but Kuumba Festival officials say they did not want to let the rain and the damage keep them from celebrating the reason they were there.

"All the kids still came out. It didn't stop them, so we were like let's just do something, celebrate. It's still the 25th anniversary. We're trying to really stay in a positive, positive mood," said Ajanaku.

"Even today through the rain and the storm we are sticking it out and we're going to meet more people and experience more of the wonderful pageantry that we've seen," said Mfomboutmoun.

All they can do, they said, is hope for sunnier skies on Sunday.

"25 years I think is a great accomplishment for anybody, or any organization or anything, so we're still just trying to stay in that silver anniversary celebrating mood," said Ajanaku.

Festival officials did have to cancel a concert planned for Saturday night but say all events will go on as planned Sunday.


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