Baylor rebuilds its city
By Jordan Hearne
Attendees of this year’s third annual Jubilee Music Street Festival are in for new activities and potentially “record-breaking” s’mores Saturday at the corner of N. 15th Street and Colcord Avenue.
The festival is hosted by Mission Waco, and Executive Director Jimmy Dorrell described the event as an effort to bring community members back to a part of downtown Waco that had been avoided by Waco residents.
“In the early days, it was a wealthy neighborhood. Then through the years, it began to diminish,” Dorrell said.
In 1992, Mission Waco created housing organizations and programs to help the homeless in the area and established offices and shelters at the previously unfavorable corner.
The festival is held in this same location as a way to build up community and bring support to Mission Waco.
“We realized if the neighborhood was going to be healthy again, people needed a sense of neighborhood and economic development,” Dorrell said. “The goal was to create some synergy and excitement.”
This year, the festival is split into two separate parties.
Beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, Mission Waco will provide free activities, including face painting, karate lessons and three inflatables. Throughout the morning and early afternoon, there will be music at four separate venues around N. 15th Street and Colcord Avenue, including The Jubilee Theatre, Jubilee Park, World Cup Café and the main stage in the middle of the festival, as well as free food.
The second part of the event will be hosted by Zeta Zigga Zamma, turning into a street dance party and fundraising event at 2 p.m.
One of this year’s new attractions is the Urban Expressions art program. Chuck Jobe, director of Urban Expressions, said it was designed as part of Mission Waco’s children and youth program and provides low-income children and individuals suffering from poverty with art education.
“There’s a lot of things that people don’t know how to verbalize or write down, but they can paint something or draw something and it helps them as far as the therapeutic aspect of talking about what they’re going through,” Jobe said.
The program will have an open house from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with artwork created by participants in the program for sale and three areas for painting, drawing and mask painting.
“People can come in and either look at stuff there, or, if they want to sit down and make art, we can provide the materials,” Jobe said.
There is no charge for admission to the festival until 2 p.m., when the men of Zeta Zigga Zamma take over and raise money for Mission Waco.
Trophy Club sophomore Travis Blake, member of Zeta Zigga Zamma, said this nonprofit organization has “had a strong drive” to help Mission Waco, and after meeting with Dorrell, the idea of a dinner fundraiser morphed into a street dance party idea.
“Our parties are always fun, but they’re always the same things. This is a chance to mix it up,” Blake said.
Zeta Zigga Zamma will serve Kool-Aid and charge $5 for admission.
Blake said all of the money contributed to hosting the event is coming from the pockets of Zeta Zigga Zamma members, and any money raised from admission will all go directly back to Mission Waco.
“Instead of just writing a check, we wanted to help out, get involved and show support,” Blake said.
Among volleyball and basketball tournaments, dancing and DJ music, Zeta Zigga Zamma’s biggest attraction at the Jubilee Music Street Festival will be unofficially attempting to break a world record.
Blake said from the beginning, Zeta Zigga Zamma was looking for a hook for their party, and one member suggested the world’s largest s’more.
Thinking that the current record-holder couldn’t be beat, the idea was put aside until another member discovered that Dorrell and Mission Waco have their own relationship with a fair-trade chocolate company that sells their products at World Cup Café on Colcord Avenue.
“There has never been a record for the world’s largest fair-trade s’more,” Blake said.
The s’more will be made at the festival and then handed out to attendees. According to Dorrell, the confection will be equivalent to around 400 s’mores.
Dorrell said that the past two festivals have been successful in bringing new faces and energy to the neighborhood.
“It’s gone so well that people who have not been to this neighborhood in years have started coming back,” Dorrell said. “We did a major renovation of the street. There are flowers now and new signs going up.”