Despite looming financial concerns, Booker Fest goes off without - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Despite looming financial concerns, Booker Fest goes off without a hitch

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

Rockford residents in attendance at Booker Fest know if things don't change, this could be the event's last year.

Supporters call Booker Fest a mix of good music, food and fellowship.

"I like the culture, I like seeing a lot of friends, people you haven't seen in a while. With all the bad stuff you hear it's good to come out and have some fun." -says Rockford resident Curtis Ross.

Rockford resident Tationa Elliott adds, "Just to be able to speak and be in the mix with other people like my color is a positive thing, where there's no violence, we're not attending a funeral, nothing like that. We're all coming together on a positive communication, note and event."

Booker Washington Community Center provides outlets for community members of all ages. There are after-school programs, summer camps and continuing education opportunities, but all that might be in jeopardy. The center is struggling financially. No one will give us specific numbers, but we know bankruptcy is an option. Board members have actually agreed to step down.

"Booker Washington has the potential to be very great and I think that with the new leadership coming in and formation of the center and the board members, I think that Booker Washington can go a far ways." -Elliott explains.

Booker Fest supporters agree it takes a village to get the center back up on its feet. They don't want to lose events like this weekend.

"It would be disheartening, it would be sad, it would be another negative thing attached onto Rockford. This is one of the few positive things we've got going on and to lose that, it would just not be something we need right now." -says Rockford resident Ronald Watson.

This weekend the community center will collect funds from memberships purchased, donations and vendors also have to pay a fee to be a part of Booker Fest.

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