Stompfest brings Pensacola to life with rich cultural history
by Mya Clark, Editor
The second annual Stompfest took place at the Pensacola Bay Center on Nov. 2, featuring a diverse group of performances from fraternities and sororities, dance troupes, Booker T. Washington’s Marching Wildcat band and special performances by DJ Mannie Fresh and Marsha Ambrosius.
At the end of the night, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University’s Beta Alpha chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated took home the title of Stompfest champions. Beta Alpha was the only sorority to compete at this year’s Stompfest and their performance did not disappoint.
This year was the Deltas’ first time at Stompfest, and months of preparation went into this one performance.
“I’m excited for Stompfest I feel like it’s a lot of really good competition here,” Krystal Washington, a member of the sorority said. “A lot of preparation went into this; it was weeks and weeks of crying and putting on a production and basically putting on the best steppers and best show possible that would really keep the crowd entertained.”
The Deltas’ performance featured stepping, stunts, tumbling and precision that set them apart from the rest. They moved as one and the handwork, dedication and support from their sisters showed.
“You’re going to be able to see all the love and hard work that went into this, all the preparation that we put in and you’re going to leave Stompfest seeing a memorable performance,” Rebekah Hawkins of the Beta Alpha Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc said.
Three fraternities participated in Stompfest this year, including Tuskegee University’s Gamma Phi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, the University of South Alabama Mu Phi Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated the University of West Florida Beta Omicron Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.
Each performance brought something different to the stage, whether it was the Alphas taking us to church, the Deltas saving the world, the Sigmas bringing the horroror the Omegas energetic performance that kept everyone on their feet.
The University of South Alabama Sigmas showed the crowd that you don’t have to have the most people to put on a memorable performance. They showed dedication and determination with their horror themed performance inspired by the movie ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’.
“We’re coming from a chapter that’s been down a lot, numbers have been low at times but now were on the rise, we just won our homecoming step show and were just real determined to show people what we can do,” Phi Beta Sigma member, Julian Gordon said. “When we have low numbers, people count you out so even though it’s going to be three of us on the stage were still going to give it our best and have grit, enthusiasm and try and represent our school the best way possible.”
Although the Step Show was the main event of Stompfest, the day also featured a panel discussion and vendors that were there to showcase their business and have candid conversations.
The vendors for Stompfest included the HBCU Culture Shop, Melissa Sweet Treats, OMW Podcast and Glam Accessories by Karen to name a few.
Local Pensacola business owner John McCorvey sat on the Infused Panel Discussion and was eager to have candid conversations and bring awareness to his Casks and Flights Winery.
Cask and Flights sets itself apart from other bars because it is self-serve and focuses on an educational approach so people new and old to drinking wine can understand the specifics on how a certain wine is made.
“My bar is unique in the way that it’s all self-serve,” John McCorvey, owner of Cask and Flights said. “My wine I have on enomatic machines where you come in and you get a card and you just go through and taste a lot of different wines so it kind of takes the commitment of buying a bottle of wine and not knowing if you like it. So now you can come here and taste a lot of good wines and find out if you like it.”
Stompfest 2019 was memorable in every aspect, it brought a sense of pride for African American history and culture and united people from all walks of life.