Laurel’s  Black History Month celebration showcasing local Black entrepreneurs and community talents found a new home at the city’s multiservice center on March 2.

Laurel City Councilmember Kyla Clark (Ward 2), who organized the celebration, said it was a great opportunity for local businesses to connect with city residents.

“We have populations that we haven’t really been able to connect with, and I’m looking for creative ways to connect with [them] and be more inclusive in our community,” she said. “We can share those experiences, learn from each other and also grow as a community.”

This year’s event was the first time Clark has taken the lead, previously helping then councilmember and current Mayor Keith Sydnor with past celebrations. The event was initially scheduled for Feb. 10 but was postponed due to a power outage.

Despite the hiccup, Clark used the opportunity to underscore her trust in the community and its resources.

“We want to make sure that we offer diverse perspectives and events and so that they would feel welcome at that multiservice center.”

Although some businesses could not attend the rescheduled event due to previous commitments, it still attracted 25 businesses.

“It allows people to know who we are, because when you come to this event, you have people come from different locations for different reasons, and this allows people to see what we are,” Aramide Adeyemi, the owner of the fashion and styling brand Aramide, said.

The Laurel High School Choir, Laurel Dance Troupe and Prince George’s County’s poet laureates, Khadijah Z. Ali-Coleman and youth laureate Saniya Pearson, provided entertainment. There were also food trucks and a bouncy house for children.

Clark said that the extra work involved in rescheduling the event paid off.

“Seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they thanked me and told me that they felt valued and seen through this event was priceless,” she said.