Belle Glade’s annual Black Gold Jubilee is a much anticipated festival born from the 1976 Bi-Centennial celebration which was sponsored by the City of Belle Glade in commemoration of our great nations’ 200th birthday. The year following that memorable celebration a group of citizens organized a similar festival hoping to imitate its success; however, the focus of the celebration would shift to the area’s rich soil, nicknamed “Black Gold” for its ability to produce bountiful harvests year after year. In 1978, the first official Black Gold Jubilee kicked off in McDonald Park, next to the Belle Glade Branch Library. Since that time, the Jubilee has grown to be the best attended festival in the area, drawing several thousand residents and visitors from across South Florida.
Scheduled in April, the Jubilee is preceded by multiple events including the Little Miss Black Gold Pageant, Children’s Fishing Contest, and the Harvest Queen Pageant. On the morning of the Jubilee, the festivities begin with a 5K Walk/Run and a 10K Run on Torry Island followed by the Main Street Parade. After the parade, everyone heads out to Torry Island for a full day of fun, food, and entertainment. The variety of food ranges from Greek to Cajun, and from down-home barbecue to soul food. The child-friendly atmosphere brings families out for a day of free games and kid’s rides while the adults enjoy music under a covered stage as well as a wide variety of vendor’s wares. In the evening, activities move to the amphitheater stage for an evening of musical entertainment followed by the grand finale- a spectacular fireworks display over the lake.