The International African Arts Festival kicked off under Saturday's scorching sun, with hundreds turning out to in Fort Greene to browse art, taste-test local cuisine and reconnect with old friends.
Now in its 41st year, the festival draws attendees from as far as Philadelphia and Connecticut, said Lillian Jean-Baptiste, one of the event's organizers.
"Each year it gets larger and larger," she said. "We have attendees who have been coming here as children, and now they're coming with their children, and their grandchildren."
Aside from the long list of scheduled events, Jean-Baptiste said the festival also serves as a meeting ground for people to reunite with one another.
"A lot of people get to reconnect and see people they haven't seen since high school, grade school, old jobs, churches," she said. "It's an institution, basically."
The festival is the largest of its kind in the U.S., said Jean-Baptiste, attracting an average of 75,000 visitors annually. This year, the festival will run until July 4.
"We connect a lot over Facebook with people," she said, "but this is a great way to catch up in real time."
Visit the festival's website for more information.