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30-foot Kwanzaa kinara debuting in Detroit

Rendering of Detroit's upcoming 30-foot kinara
City of Detroit/Downtown Detroit Partnership
Rendering of Detroit's upcoming 30-foot kinara

Detroit will install a 30-foot Kinara at Campus Martius in Detroit this holiday season. It will be unveiled during Detroit’s Kwanzaa celebration on December 26th.

Njia Kai is the programming and special events producer at Downtown Detroit Parks. "This is a historic moment. Not only is this the largest kinara that we're aware of anywhere in the United States, but it's also going to be a first for downtown Detroit," she said.

This will be the first time Detroit will be featuring a Kinara. In past years, Detroit has had a giant Christmas tree and a 26-foot-tall Hannuka menorah. The Motor City Kwanzaa Kinara will be on display during the 7-day celebration, Dec 26th through Jan 1st.

Kwanzaa is a 50 year old holiday, meant to honor Black culture and heritage.

The city will have free events on the 26th at Detroit's Beacon Park, including a virtual presentation from Kwanzaa’s founder, Maulana Karenga. Kai said there will also be drumming, a youth choir, and lots of presenters. Festivities will end with a walk down to Campus Martius and a lighting of the Motor City Kwanzaa Kinara.

The idea started in the winter of 2021, and was spurred on by Detroit Councilman Scott Benson. It has been developed by the Alkebu-lan Village and Downtown Detroit Partnership. The budget for the project was $75 thousand.

Katheryne Friske is the weekend morning host and producer for All Things Considered.
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