USPS ® helps revive Idlewild Music Festival with Sarah Vaughan stamps
The 2016 Idlewild Music Festival harkens back to a time during the 1940’s and 1950’s when well-known African American singers and entertainers performed at the Red Rooster Lounge. At its peak, it was the most successful resort in the Midwest drawing up to 25,000 vacationers in the summer. Things died down shortly after that, but a rebirth began about thirteen years ago with an aggressive renaissance push the last two years.
According to the Idlewild Music Festival website, the festival is held to commemorate and celebrate the history of well-known African-American entertainers and professionals who owned property and performed at the Historic Resort prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Known as the “Black Eden”, this location was one of the few resorts in the United States where African-Americans could vacation and purchase property. It is historically, the largest land based African-American resort ever assembled in the USA.
Idlewild is a rare and valuable national resource with physical and cultural significance.
Honoring the talented Sarah Vaughan
At this year’s festival, The Postal Service ® had a first-time presence with the dedication of the Forever ® Stamp honoring Sarah Vaughan, one of America’s greatest singers. Vaughan was one of the many singers who frequently sang at the Red Rooster Lounge.
Greater Michigan District Customer relations Coordinator Sabrina Todd presented the stamp to John Meeks, a 93 year-old resident of Idlewild, and President of the Idlewild African-American Chamber of Commerce and Theresa Rose Randleman, director of the music festival.
A Postal Service booth was also available, staffed by Reed City, MI, Postmaster Don Patterson and Clerk Bethany Sabo, who assisted customers with stamp purchases.
See the USPS tribute to Sarah Vaughan on USPS TV.