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  • Soul of 2nd Street 2016 Continues Rain or Shine

  • The Reverend W.R. Bouknight III once wrote, "A house is so much more than timber, cement, and mortar. It is a love- structure which stores up memories...It is the shared joys, tears, dreams, and heartbreaks of several generations.” Even though the buildings are gone, the soul, memories and experiences of 2nd Street still lingers on and paves the way for the Soul of 2nd Street Festival. The festival, now in its second year, is more than a community event, it is a time to remember the past, share memories of a place that is no more, and keep the spirit alive for years to come.

    This Saturday, RAIN OR SHINE, downtown Danville will come alive with the sights, sounds and smells of what was once a thriving African-American business district, known as 2nd Street. The Heart of Danville, Boyle County Public Library and the Danville-Boyle County African-American Historical Society are excited to present this incredible opportunity to explore local history, hear soulful music, and eat delicious food on the very ground we are honoring.  


    History Tent:

    Make sure you stop by the festival's history tent to learn the stories of the real men and women who made the African-American business district a thriving community. The history tent will be full of rare photographs of the people and places that made 2nd Street special. At 4:20 hear the stores of Dr. Bate as J.H. Atkins brings him to life and at 6:30 & 7:15 hear personal stories from locals who experienced it. We haven’t forgotten about the little ones. Throughout the event kids can come get dressed to the nines as they make their own hats and experience the 2nd Street Scavenger Hunt. At 4:50, 5:20, 6:00 & 7:25 kids can come compete in the classic cake walk.



    This year's festival will feature some of the best from last year's event and some great newcomers. With the music variety ranging from gospel to soul, and everything in between, there is something for everyone at this year’s festival.

    4:00 Invocation & Welcome

    4:25-4:50 Blue Groove Jazz

    5:00-5:20 St. James AME

    5:30-5:40 Harris Brothers

    5:50-6:00 Victoria Troller

    6:10-6:30 First Baptist Male Chorus

    6:45-7:05 Joe Deuce

    7:10-7:25 Robby Houston Family Affair

    7:40-8:10 Triple Vision

    8:30-9:30 Soul Revue

    A piece of the festival can be yours with the 2016 Soul of 2nd Street Festival t-shirt available now for $18.

    About the Business District:

    For nearly 100 years, a block of Second Street in downtown Danville was the undisputed hub of African-American business and social life. African-Americans seeking refuge from discrimination ,and a community of their own, enjoyed the African-American-owned restaurants, beauty parlors, doctor’s offices, social clubs, and movie theaters that thrived in a small but vibrant section of Danville. 

    During the 1960s, Second Street’s businesses began a slow decline that culminated in a 1971 Urban Renewal project that destroyed many of the block’s landmarks, and turned the area into what is now known as Constitution Square.