The annual Haitian Memorial Heritage Festival takes place in Savannah’s Franklin Square and offers a full weekend of activities celebrating the volunteer soldiers of Saint-Domingue. October 6-8, 2017.
The 10th annual Haitian Memorial Heritage Festival honors one of the few black regiments to fight on the American side during the Revolutionary War. These brave, volunteer soldiers were recruited from Haiti, then known as the French colony of Saint-Domingue.
Les Chasseurs-Volontaires de Saint-Domingue were part of the force supplied by our French allies. The group of all volunteer soldiers made up ten companies of light infantry. This force was not only the largest black regiment to serve during the American Revolution, it was also the largest military unit serving during the Siege of Savannah!
After the war, many of these men were instrumental in liberating Saint-Domingue from slavery and French rule. Their brave actions helped America gain independence and created the first majority-black republic in the western world: Haiti.
The monument to these soldiers is located in Franklin Square, on the west side of City Market. Before its dedication, most people in U.S. had never even heard of the volunteers from Saint-Domingue. The monument and annual celebration in Franklin Square have helped to erase this oversight.
Savannah’s Haitian Memorial Heritage Festival attracts thousands with a full weekend of activities. The event includes a parade, brunch, symposium, and live performances. This year will see Ram Haiti, Boukman Eksperyans, Kompa, and other performers.
The Haitian Memorial Heritage Festival is followed by the Haitian American Historical Festival. The Haitian American Historical Festival is a happy event filled with dance, music, and appreciation for the ties between Haiti and the United States. Performances are set to include the Nancy St. Leger Dance Ensemble, and Fanes Tulme.
Franklin Square is adjacent to the First African Baptist Church, founded by slaves in 1773. Attendees to the anniversary celebrations in Franklin Square will also benefit from a visit to this stirring, historical church.
Friday, October 6th – Haitian Memorial Heritage Festival
10am: Haitian Parade from Jewish Cemetery to the monument site in Franklin Square
6pm: Symposium – The Ties that Bind Us
Saturday, October 8th – Haitian American Historical Festival
4pm to 11pm at the Savannah Civic Center, 301 W Oglethorpe Ave,
The Market Fair at Franklin Square will feature arts, crafts, and food vendors
Haitian Memorial Heritage Festival 2017
October 6-8, 2017
Visit haitianhistory.org for tickets and more information.
Haitian Memorial Heritage Festival Lodging
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