2019 Freedom Classic Festival

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The 23rd annual Freedom Classic Festival returns to Richmond from January 8th – 14th! Join us in commemorating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement with a week of programming highlighted by the marquee matchup between Virginia State University and Virginia Union University men’s basketball teams.

In addition to the basketball game, Sunday is packed with tons of activities for the entire family, including a high school drumline competition, a gospel showcase, a college fair, and a special halftime performance.

Throughout the week the festival features events designed to help uplift and enrich area youth including STEM–ED Connects, MEGA Mentors Fine Art Benefit & Sale, and the Freedom Classic Festival Leadership Summit.

This year, the Freedom Classic Festival is encouraging everyone to “Get Active” about their future by making investments in education, careers, finances, health and social causes. 

Get Tickets!

2019 Freedom Classic Schedule

Monday, January 8 – Thursday, January 11:  STEM – ED Connects

Richmond Public Schools

STEM-ED Connects brings industry professionals to middle and high school classrooms. Professionals working in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, entrepreneurship and design volunteer their time to speak with students to provide a glimpse into their careers and the path it took to get them there.

Friday, January 12: MEGA Mentors Fine Art Benefit and Sale

The Hippodrome Theatre

MEGA Mentors is an organization dedicated to making a positive, measurable difference in the lives of underrepresented students in Chesterfield County. MEGA Mentors hosts its annual fundraiser, the Fine Art Benefit and Sale, as part of the Freedom Classic Festival weekend. Money raised through fine art purchases and silent auction bidding supports the efforts of the organization.

Register your attendants here.

Saturday, January 13: FCF Leadership Summit

Dominion Energy Arts Center

Today’s local leaders and influencers will share their experiences and break down what it takes to excel with emerging leaders. The Freedom Classic Festival Leadership Summit will feature dynamic presentations and panel Q&A sessions surrounding the topics of health, financial literacy, business, entrepreneurship and community activism. The Summit is designed to inform, empower and motivate high school students to get active about their future.

Space is limited, register your student here.

Sunday, January 14: FCF Game and Festivities 

Richmond Coliseum

The Freedom Classic Festival finale is the marquee matchup between CIAA rivals Virginia State University (VSU) and Virginia Union University (VUU) in a showdown basketball game. In addition to the basketball game, there will be a gospel showcase highlighting acclaimed collegiate choirs, a drumline competition featuring the region’s best high school drumlines, and finally, a special halftime performance by VSU’s and VUU’s marching bands.

Additionally, patrons can visit our #GetActive concourse to learn from various organizations about ways to invest in their future.

Get tickets for the Freedom Classic Festival here.

*Schedule is subject to change*

4pm – #GetActive Concourse

  • College Fair
  • Community Organizations
  • Financial Literacy Experts
  • Health and Wellness Coaches

4:15pm – Gospel Choir Showcase

  • Virginia Commonwealth University’s Black Awakening Choir
  • Virginia State University Gospel Chorale

5:15pm – Drumline Competition

  • Henrico High’s “TNT Boom” Drumline
  • Highland Springs High’s “Heavy HiWers” Drumline
  • Hopewell High’s “Weapons of Mass Percussion” Drumline
  • Norview High’s “Dogg Pound” Drumline

7pm – VSU v. VUU Basketball Game

  • Special halftime performance by VSU and VUU marching bands

*All programming is subject to change*

The Rivalry Runs Deep

HBCU’s hold some of the longest-running sports and academic rivalries in history. VSU and VUU prove no different. With only about 25 miles in between them, these two powerhouse institutions have held on to a sports rivalry spanning decades. As the two only HBCUs in the area, VUU and VSU’s school pride runs deep.

Virginia State University


Virginia Union University