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Ezz Fest Celebrates Ezzard Charles And West End Community

Courtesy of Ezz Fest

The West End is celebrating its heritage Saturday with a festival named for one of the community's most well known residents, Ezzard Charles.Tia Brown is Community Engagement Coordinator with Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses in the West End. She says Ezz Fest will include arts, athletics and music.

"A lot of people know Ezzard Charles because of his boxing career, but in his travels he collected a lot of music and brought it back home to Cincinnati," Brown says. "He had a lot to do with the music scene, so we'll have live jazz performances."

Charles was also a tailor, Brown says, so there will be a tailor at the festival doing demonstrations. A sculptor will be working on a statue of Ezzard Charles and community members can watch.

Brown says the idea is to remember Charles and highlight the historic community.

"We know in our near future we're going to have a lot of new development coming in and we don't want our history in the shadow of our future," she says. "We don't want people to think that the West End just started with FC (Cincinnati) and the stadium came here. We have a lot of wonderful things to celebrate in this neighborhood."

Ezz Fest is from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday in Laurel Park on Ezzard Charles Drive.