Newtown’s Big Mama’s Festival is more than just collard greens

SARASOTA —  The heart of Newtown will be filled with smells of traditional southern cuisine and sounds of local live music Oct. 16 as the fifth annual Big Mama’s Collard Green Festival returns to Sarasota’s historically Black neighborhood.

The festival is the primary revenue source for the Newtown Farmer’s Market and comes as a result of hard work from market manager Danette Williams. 

Williams took the helm at the Newtown Market a little less than a year ago hoping to create an outside perspective and new reputation for the Newtown community. Now, she faces the biggest challenge in her new role — pulling together the beloved community festival. 

Big Mama’s festival plays a significant role in the efforts to get more people into Newtown and sharing more of what Newtown has to offer with the rest of Sarasota, Williams said.  

“The festival is a family-friendly event, and all kinds of families are welcome,” Williams said. “Even if they don’t come out and buy anything, just come out with your family, and just enjoy a part of the town you haven’t enjoyed before.” 

Read the full Herald-Tribune article

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