The Rivalry Continues at the 2016 Freedom Classic Festival

Richmond, VA – Join us as we celebrate diversity at the 2017 Freedom Classic Festival, January 9 – 15th, 2017. The main event is Sunday, January 15th at the Richmond Coliseum where CIAA rivals Virginia Union University and Virginia State University compete on the basketball court. In commemorating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., The Freedom Classic Festival celebrates all walks of life and contributors to the RVA community. In addition to the basketball game, attendees can also enjoy the beats of the High School Drumline competition featuring high schools from across the region, a special half-time performance and much more! The Festival invites a diverse crowd to come and enjoy a number of fun and family-friendly activities, interact with the community and share in the excitement!

The Freedom Classic kicks off with STEM-ED Connects, January 9 -11th. Recognizing that educational programming centered on STEM-ED (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Entrepreneurship and Design) remains a growing trend within the Richmond area and across the country, the STEM-ED Connects initiative will connect local industry leaders from diverse STEM-ED backgrounds with students at Elkhardt-Thompson Middle, Huguenot High and Fisher Elementary Schools and in Richmond through impactful guest speaking engagements and interactive classroom presentations. The goal of the STEM-ED Connects program is to ultimately encourage and empower students to thrive in careers in the STEM-ED fields.

On Friday, January 13th, the MEGA Mentors Fine Art Benefit & Sale and Alumni Reception will take place at the Hippodrome Theater. This year’s fine art benefit will feature world-renowned tribal culture sculptor, Woodrow Nash. Attendees will enjoy the sounds of Chkn Grese and participate in a silent auction.

Tickets for the 2017 Freedom Classic Festival are on sale now at the sweetFrog Box Office at the Richmond Coliseum, online at Ticketmaster or by phone at 800-745-3000! For more information visit

Freedom Classic Festival 2017 Schedule:

Monday, January 9 – Wednesday, January 11, 2017
STEM-ED Connects
Elkhardt-Thompson Middle School – January 9th
Huguenot High School – January 10th
Fisher Elementary School – January 11th

Friday, January 13, 2017
MEGA Mentors Fine Art Benefit & Sale
7 p.m. @ The Hippodrome Theater
528 North 2nd Street, Richmond, VA 23219

Sunday, January 15, 2017
Freedom Classic Festival Game & Activities
@ The Richmond Coliseum
601 East Leigh Street, Richmond, VA 23219
Doors Open at 4:00 p.m.
Activities on the Concourse at 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.
High School Drumline Competition at 5:00 p.m.
VUU vs. VSU Game Tip Off 7:00pm


About Freedom Classic Festival
The Freedom Classic Festival acknowledges and commemorates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The inaugural Freedom Classic Festival took place January 14, 1996. This multi-day day festival has expanded to include activities throughout Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday weekend. More than 10,000 guests enjoy the creativity and diversity of festival events each year. Each year, the festival partners with various corporate sponsors including Virginia Is For Lovers, McDonald’s, McGuireWoods, Altria, and others.

The festival has activities for the entire family including an alumni reception, drumline competition, gospel showcase, college fair, and leadership summit. A more recent addition to the Freedom Classic Festival, the STEM-ED Connects program impacts the lives of Richmond area public school students with local STEM-ED industry leaders. The dynamic basketball game with southern rivals Virginia State and Virginia Union Universities gets the crowd pumped and excited. The game always includes a moving half-time tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., featuring various artists, past artists include the Boys Choir of Richmond, John Legend, Wale, Kanye West and Raheem Devaughn, to include a few. The festival continues to grow and build momentum year after year.