Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival

BimbeThe national award winning Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival has been a tradition in Durham for 48 years. This family oriented event is a celebration of African and African American history, culture, arts, and traditions. Visit the Bimbé History page for information on how the festival has evolved throughout the years.

Bimbé Weekday Event  Schedule

Bimbé Panel Discussion: Hip Hop - Then and Now
Tuesday, May 15, 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Holton Career and Resource Center Athletic Field, 401 N. Driver St.
Free | All Ages

Bimbé Community Block Party
Wednesday, May 16. 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Holton Career and Resource Center Athletic Field, 401 N. Driver St.
Free | All Ages
K97.5 will be airing live from the event, with host Brian Dawson!

Bimbé Basketball Classic
Thursday, May 17, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.)
Southern High School, 800 Clayton Rd. (Gymnasium)
Free | All Ages

Bimbé Teen Pool Party
Friday, May 18, 7:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. 
Campus Hills Pool, 2000 S. Alston Ave.
Free | Ages 13-18

49th Annual Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival

Saturday, May 19, 2018
Noon - 8 p.m.
Location Change: Due to the wet conditions at Rock Quarry Park, the festival will be held in the Durham County Stadium Parking Lot located at 750 Stadium Dr.

Rain or Shine

FREE admission to the festival!

Festival Map

Featuring SWVSWV

Festival Activities
  • Live Music
  • Family Fun Zone
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Community Resources
  • Ethnic Food
  • Local Talent
Seating will not be provided, please bring a lawn chair or blanket.

The following is not allowed at the festival:
  • No coolers
  • No smoking
  • No alcohol
  • No personal canopies/tents
  • No pets

The 49th Annual Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival is presented by 
BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina in partnership with Durham Parks and Recreation.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina
Performance Time Performer
Noon. Introductions
12:05 p.m. Salute to Elders & Dance Presentation - African American Dance Ensemble
12:50 p.m. Johnny White & The Elite Band (Old Skool/Beach)
2 p.m. T-Niquole and Blaque Suede (Neo Soul)
3 p.m. Youth Performance: Campus Hills Jr. Cheerleaders
3:15 p.m. Ras Medy (Reggae)
4:15 p.m. Youth Performance: Trinity On Pointe
4:30 p.m. Shursoundz (R&B)
5:45 p.m. Uptown Swagga Band (GoGo)
6:45 p.m. Ernie Barnes Tribute
7 p.m. SWV
Schedule subject to change

Festival Highlights

Sonofsimba (Live Artist)
This live artist will be painting to the music throughout the festival. All live art will be available for purchase upon request.

The Blue Green Machine
BYOB - Bring your own bottle for water refills from the Blue Green Machine! Help reduce waste at this event by bringing your own bottle or cup. This mobile system cools and dispenses on-demand drinking water.

Food Vendors
Come hungry! Food and drinks will be available for purchase from the following vendors: Boricua Soul Food, R&B Grill, ShoNuff Seafood NC, Hot Diggity Dog, Tooties Mobile Kitchen, Pita Delite, ZimZimLLC DBA 454 Grill, Big C Waffles, JC Catering Concessions, Fahsyrah's Lemonade, S&K Funnel Cakes, Bruster's Real Ice Cream, Snowie of North Carolina, Kona Ice, Tropical Delights, CocoCrissi Tropical Icees (vendors subject to change)

Family Fun Zone 

The Family Fun Zone will celebrate the spirit of African community, engaging kids of ALL ages to bring out the “Kuumba,” (koo-OOM-bah) or creativity, within each of them. Join us for a fun-filled day exploring African cultural traditions!
  • Drum circles
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Story Telling
  • Inflatables
  • Face Painting
  • Video Game Truck
Natural Health & Beauty Corner Sponsored by Organeyez'd Stylez Salon
Visit the Bimbe Natural Health & Beauty Corner to experience the natural side of life! There will be experienced professionals doing hands on demonstrations, presenting information, and suggesting products anyone can use to live more naturally.
  • Hair Care
  • Skin Care
  • Massage Therapy
  • Oils & Herbs
  • Eat & Grow
Artist Ernie Barnes Tribute
Children, teenagers, adults, and mature adults are invited to re-enact the dance scene from the iconic painting “The Sugar Shack” by world famous artist Ernie Barnes. In celebration of his 80th birthday, music will start booming, and a dance off will take place. Throughout this year, former NFL player and artist Ernie Barnes will be honored and celebrated on what would have been his 80th birthday in his birth state, North Carolina, and his adopted state, California.

“This is my home place. This is where I grew up and my affection for this state is organic,” Barnes said in 1999. “My roots lie here in  this very soil. Elementary, high school and college were all within walking distance. This proximity to some of the most meaningful  experiences in my life never leaves my consciousness. I live it. I paint it. It remains the foundation of my outward life and my sense of  spiritual community.”

The Tribute to Ernie Barnes will continue throughout the summer and fall. In June, an Ernie Barnes exhibition featuring many of his unpublished works of art will open at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh. On July 15, a hometown Durham celebration is planned at the B.N. Duke Auditorium at North Carolina Central University, with his artwork expressed in music, dance, song, and poetry. In October, his famous painting “The Sugar Shack” will be appropriately celebrated at the Durham Armory. It was at the Armory that as a preteen Barnes first saw an energetic dance scene that inspired him to create this iconic work of art, which was shown on the television show “Good Times” and a Marvin Gaye album cover.

Book Giveaway and Registration
The Durham County Library  will be on site with their awesome Bookmobile. Participants can take advantage of this mobile service, where they can register and even receive a free book. Get your very own library card on site! 



Free parking will be available at the Durham County Stadium, 750 Stadium Dr.

Limited handicap parking will be offered in Rock Quarry Park for those with handicap placards. Additional handicap parking will be located at the Durham County Stadium, 750 Stadium Drive in the handicap marked spaces. New for 2018 - A shuttle will be offered for handicap event attendees and those who rode with them to the festival.  

Event Cancellation Information

Events may be canceled in the case of severe inclement weather. 
  • Call the weather line at 919-560-4636 and press #8 for the status of the event.
  • Visit Facebook and / or Twitter

Volunteer Information

Interested in volunteering? Visit our Ivolunteer site to sign up. Volunteers will receive a festival t-shirt, snacks and water.

Vendor Information

All vendor slots are full for 2018!