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PHOTOS: Beautiful ‘umoja’ on parade in Seattle

As the Blue Angels flew overhead, hundreds gathered on Saturday to attend the Umoja Festival and African American Day parade. Umoja, which means "unity" in Swahili, is a festival that began as a tradition in the 1940s to honor African heritage and culture. 

Groups including the Washington Diamonds drill team and the Buffalo Soldiers of Seattle led the parade beginning at 23rd Avenue and East Cherry Street. Large crowds gathered at Judkins Park following the parade.

The Afro-Beats & Kulture Stage, one of three stages at Judkins Park, hosted the Respect The Culture fashion show as well as several dance performances. 

"Everybody is letting everybody be who they need to be or who they want to be," said Cynthia Softli, president of the Black Law Enforcement Association of Washington. "It’s just really nice that this community is so diverse."

Year started with KUOW: 2017