Annual Sistrunk Parade and Festival: Honoring our past…embracing our future

sistrunk_al-battle2Annual Sistrunk Parade and Festival: Honoring our past…embracing our future

Mission Statement – “To celebrate the historical and cultural richness, and contributions of people of African descent and their impact on the global community.”

Grand Marshall is Alfred “Al” G. Battler, Jr.

      Sistrunk Historical Festival is a cultural organization that celebrates the accomplishments of people of African descent. The organization is named in honor of Dr. James Sistrunk, one of the first African American Physicians in Broward County.

Annual activities provide educational, historical, and recreational events in the Greater Fort Lauderdale area. They attract thousands of participants from the tri-county area and other parts of the State.

Each year a large parade and festival draw thousands of people to enjoy international foods, fellowship and networking, local and national entertainment, and family-centric activities.

A highlight of this year’s parade will be the renown Central Florida’s marching entertainment band YBA.

Young Blacks in Action, Inc. more commonly known as YBA will truly light up and filled the spirits of all who will witness their performance for the Annual Sistrunk Parade and Festival!

Led by its Director and Founder Howard Gentry affectionately called Mr. Flute will perform its show stopping, spectacular, and synchronized dance and drum routines in front of the very large crowds expected to attend the annual event that “Celebrates the historical and cultural richness, and contributions of people of African descent and their impact on the global community.”

YBA, now in its 36th year, is and has been a feeder program for many of the area middle and high school band and cheer leading programs along with many members participating in college band programs such as FAMU and Bethune Cookman University, as well. Additionally, YBA have entertained thousands throughout Central Florida and the state of Florida over the years.

The Sistrunk Scholarship Program, proudly support Broward County Students financially in their pursuit of higher learning.

2015 marks the organization’s 35th year of providing community activities.

This year’s Grand Marshal is Alfred “Al” G. Battle Jr., Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), Director for the City of Fort Lauderdale.

Al is a native of Jacksonville, Fl, with over fifteen years of experience in the economic and real estate development industry. In 2005, he was appointed Director of the Community Redevelopment Agency for the City of Fort Lauderdale. In this role he has lead redevelopment efforts that have resulted in over $300M in private capital investment and over $30 in complimentary public sector investments.

In June 2012, he was assigned to a new position as Economic and Community Rein-vestment Manager for the City of Fort Lauderdale. On Jan. 12, 2015, Al was promoted to the position of Deputy Director of the Department of Sustainable Development where he will manage all administrative, budgetary, strategic initiatives and all internal services related to running a department that includes Planning, Zoning, Building Services, Code Enforcement, Housing and Community Development, Economic Development and the Community Redevelopment Agency.

Al earned a bachelor degree from the University of North Florida and a Masters of Public Administration from Florida Atlantic University. He is a graduate of the Executive Leadership Institute program of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators. He is currently a board member of the Broward County Enterprise Zone Agency, and serves as Chairman.

Al is also active in his local community where he is a member of the Fort Lauderdale Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and he also coaches youth football and basketball. Al and his wife Tamara are the proud parents of three children – Alfred III, Alexander and Ashleigh.

The Sistrunk events are amongst the oldest African-American promotions in the Broward County area. We are proud to continually provide cultural, social, political and educational events that help to increase awareness of the contributions of our diverse community.


About Carma Henry 15901 Articles
Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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