Our third annual Summer of Opportunity festival was a great success as nearly 3,000 people came out to celebrate the Austin community on June 28 and 29. The energy was palpable all weekend thanks to a parade, live music, food trucks, carnival rides, games, basketball tournaments, and of course, an abundance of opportunity.
We are so grateful to our community partners who joined us to pass out information and share resources with the Austin community. Tables were lined up down Harrison Street and offered information about jobs, educational opportunities, access to mental health assistance, library cards, volunteer opportunities, and much more.
“We need to continue to come together as community,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton, who spoke to the crowd on Saturday. “Because as community, the people of the community are the power of the community.”
Summer of Opportunity kicked off Friday afternoon with a bit of rain, but it didn’t take long for the sun to come out, and those in the neighborhood soon followed. Music from the stage filled the air throughout the day as youth and families enjoyed the festivities. Some of Friday’s highlights included free boxed lunches with sandwiches, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, and WGCI 107.5 FM personalities KeKe and Jamal Smallz emceeing the stage!
The good vibes picked right back up on Saturday morning with our community parade that started at Chicago and Laramie. As we marched down Laramie towards the street festival, community members watched from their front doorsteps and some in the parade even brought them candy.
BUILD CEO Adam Alonso led the way as the parade reached the festival and concluded near the front stage with some spectacular dance performances by youth from the Austin community.
Some of Saturday’s other highlights included Lt. Governor Stratton’s visit, as she not only addressed the crowd, but spent time jumping rope and taking time to talk with people from the community. There were also some amazing live music performances which included the Chicago Sinfonietta, upcoming rap star “Duchess” Nia Kay, internet phenom Korporate, and the multi-talented singer/songwriter B. Lilly, who featured BUILD’s own Aaron Williams on drums.
We would like to thank all of our sponsors and community partners who made our 2019 Summer of Opportunity festival possible. We also want to thank everybody from the Austin community who came out and created such a wonderful atmosphere. We are excited to carry this positive energy into the rest of the summer.
Check out more photos from Summer of Opportunity here!