By Linda Wright

Wright Communications

The 8th Annual Halle-Bration, the city’s most festive free holiday festival and gift market goes virtual this year, streaming live Friday and Saturday, December 11-12. On Friday, hours are 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The community “hallelujah celebration of the holidays” will feature 25 vendors selling food, unique gifts, entertainment, free toy give-away with Santa Claus, a kids’ craft webinar, jazz social hour and more – all on a digital platform. It will be streamed LIVE on Halle-Bration’s Facebook page at and on YouTube. 

The only in-person part of the event will be the annual free toy give away, on Sat., Dec. 11, 12 noon to 1 p.m., at New Vision UMC, 4400 Reading Rd, 45229. This year it will be a drive through event for the first 200 children, featuring Santa Claus greeting kids at a safe distance, as they pick up the toys. No pre-registration needed, but kids must be present.

“While many holiday events are skipping this year because of the pandemic, we felt it was too important to the community to cancel the event altogether,” said Kathye Lewis Norman, Chair of Virtual Halle-Bration 2020. “We partnered with Steven Easley Blessed Media to be our production manager and to create many of our usual events and vendors on a beautiful, full-color digital format. 

“The digital format required this year had a silver lining for many vendors, who took the opportunity to receive Halle-Bration’s technical assistance and training to establish a digital presence and e-commerce platform,” Norman explained. “One of our co-sponsors, the Greater Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce, worked with vendors, holding webinars and providing one-on-one consultation to develop a “digital booth” for each, an e-commerce vehicle and a short video they could use for Halle-Bration and future marketing on social media and traditional media.”

The purpose of the eighth annual event is to provide a free family friendly community event celebrating the holiday season, and providing a showcase of Greater Cincinnati African American owned businesses — this year online. 

FRIDAY: Workshops: At 5 p.m., Closing the Health Gap presents “Introduction To Black Women’s Health Movement,” and at 6:15 p.m., Presenting Sponsor Fifth Third Bank highlights its new Covid aid initiative of technical assistance, grants and loans for small businesses: “Covid 19 Recovery and Relief Initiative for Businesses.”

Entertainment: At 4:30 p.m., Vocalist P. Ann Everson Price; at 5:35 p.m., Jazz Saxophonist Ed SAX Thomas; and at 7:30 p.m., jazz group Mike Wade Octet.

SATURDAY: Workshops: at 10 a.m., Christmas Craft Webinar with Artist Annie Ruth (Find shopping list for craft supplies on Halle-Bration Facebook page); at 10:30 a.m., “Curvy Cardio” with Morgan Owens; at 11 a.m., First Financial Bank presents “Managing Your Personal Finances and Mortgage Made Easy; at 12 Noon, Fifth Third Bank presents “Covid 19 Recovery and Relief Initiative for Businesses;” and at 1:30 p.m., Union Guardian Savings Bank presents “Get On the Path to Home Ownership.”

Entertainment: At 11:30 a.m., LaKeisa Ealy; at 1 p.m., Ellis Williams; at 2:15 p.m., Angela Grayson, In His Image.

Presenters of the event are: New Vision UMC, the Greater Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce and the Collective Empowerment Group of Cincinnati. Our Presenting Lead Sponsor is again 5/3 Bank; Platinum Sponsor: First Financial Bank, Gold Level Sponsors: Union and Guardian Savings Bank; Silver Sponsor: Closing the Health Gap and our Media sponsor is The Cincinnati Herald and our Production Sponsor is Easley Blessed Media. 

Our 25 vendors feature a wide variety of unique items: Inspire Salon & Boutique’s upscale clothing, jewelry and handbags; Kitabu Children’s African American and multicultural books; New Attitude Boutique fine knits, faux leather, hats and After Five Wear; Annie Ruth Creations’ posters, CDs, art, book marks, books and original artwork; Slay Safe Shop’s fashion face masks with matching headscarves; Black & Bossie natural hair care products; Soul Purpose skin care products; holistic herbs and teas, Bling T-shirts, hats, aprons and hand bags and more. 

Also, back by popular demand is “A Taste of Halle-Bration,” with all your favorite sweets and treats, such as: Davis Cookie Collection gourmet cookies and brownies; The Final Course’s creamy smooth banana pudding with unique flavors of strawberry, caramel pecan and turtle; Sweet Jazz Treat’s cupcakes and cake pops. For your holiday main course, Edibles N Such offers full service catering and dinners, soups, salads, sandwiches and drinks, and Goodie’s Barbecue offers entrees including rib tips, full slabs and barbecue chicken. 

The virtual event is free and open to the public, and no pre-registration needed. It will be streamed on the Halle-Bration Facebook page at . For information, call 513-961-4817 or visit                                   

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