225 Fest, an annual festival commemorating the rich history and culture of Baton Rouge, made its debut Saturday at the Capitol Park Museum downtown.
The idea for the festival came from Myra N. Richardson, a serial entrepreneur and community activist. Richarson took note of social media posts about 225 Day, Feb. 25, and decided that an annual celebration was past due.
BookTok, a popular section of TikTok where users discuss books, attracts book lovers and convinces non-book lovers to pick up their first book…
Richardson’s efforts to create more inclusivity in Baton Rouge and invest in the city’s young professionals reached a new height with 225 Fest. Over 14,000 people attended, and an array of Baton Rouge-based businesses were vendors for the event.
Notable 225 Fest vendors include Leroy’s LipSmack’n Lemonade – the business idea of 16-year-old Leroy Hayward III – Empire Wingz, Caliente Mexican Cravings and the local American Sign Language program, Feel Seen Today.
The vendors have backstories and ties to the city that made their presence at 225 Fest incredibly special.
The team behind 225 Fest aimed to make the event family-friendly; there were outdoor spaces for children to play in, and interactive booths familiarized adults with various organizations and businesses in Baton Rouge.
Local artists also set up shop, selling their work to attendees and showcasing the overlooked talent in Baton Rouge.
Performers provided entertainment, arriving in exuberant costumes and taking pictures with attendees.
Food trucks, festivities and tables lined the street and gave Capitol Park a new sense of life. A health fair, panel discussions and live music that commemorated the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop provided a community-based approach and an activity for every attendee.
In a previous interview with 225 Magazine, Richardson revealed that all of this was her intention from the start.
When Maameefua Koomson graduated from LSU, she had many plans for her future career; becoming an influencer was not one of them.
“Baton Rouge is not just a retirement city, it’s not just a college town, it’s not just somewhere for children and families,” Richardson said. “Everybody has a place here. I want to cater to every age group and every demographic.”