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Jubilee is open for business

Vendor Nema Saho, left, shows customers some of the tribal African jewelry, art and clothing available at his stand. Saho, who’s originally from the African nation Gambia and works out of Georgia, is one of the many vendors who came to Selma for the Bridge Crossing Jubilee. -- Robert Hudson

The early, Saturday morning rain couldn’t stop vendors from all over the country and the world, from lining up and down Water Avenue to celebrate the annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee.

Early morning rain eventually ceased completely, as vendors welcomed hundreds of festival goers to the downtown venue.

The smell of turkey legs and polish sausages filled the air, and art and clothing from all around the world were just a few examples of the goods on display Saturday.

And, they’ll all be back again Sunday morning as the Jubilee festival continues.

Vendor Terwanna Weatherspoon, of Birmingham, whose booth “Color Me Beautiful by Terwanna” offered cosmetic and skin-care products, said she comes to Jubilee to be a part of a historical celebration, and the rain couldn’t put a damper on a great day.

“It’s a great feeling to be a part of this historic cultural event,” Weatherspoon said. “Last year was my first time actually setting up as a vendor here at the Jubilee, but it was a great experience. I know the weather has kind of put a cloud over the event earlier today, but I think the event will still be a success the rest of the day as well as tomorrow.”

Weatherspoon said the Jubilee is also a great event for fellowship with others.

“I celebrate because it’s a great cultural event,” Weatherspoon said. “We have people from all over the world here. You meet people, you get to taste new food, you have people selling clothes and things from all over.”

Vendor Trevor Brown, owner of the food stand “This Is It,” said Jubilee for him is all about celebrating the civil rights movement of the past.

“It feels good to be here and I’m excited about the movement,” Brown said. “I’m glad to be here for the celebration of the historical moment and it’s a pleasure of mine to be here.”

Vendor Nema Saho, who’s originally from Gambia, now lives in Stone Mountain, Ga., owns the stand “Manding Imports of Africa” which offered clothing, jewelry and art from all around Africa, including Ghana, Nigeria, Mali and the Ivory Coast.

Saho has been attending Jubilee for 18 years, and said the event brings people together for a celebration of a historic event.

“I used to come just for the cultural and historical significance of it, then I started vending because I sell African art and tribal art,” Saho said. “It feels good because the kind of people that come make it interesting. You meet a lot of people that you know from west and east, and we all come here for the same reason—to celebrate the history.”