This weekend, the African American Heritage Commission will host the first Funk Festival in Kinston.

The event will serve as a chance to celebrate the city’s contribution to the Funk genre, and specifically Maceo Parker, who recently received a North Carolina Heritage Award.

The festival will begin on Friday with tours of the African American music trail and a special exhibit at the Lenoir County Arts Council dedicated to funk musicians from around Eastern North Carolina.

“Funk started in Eastern North Carolina, and there are a lot of Kinstonians who were part of that,” Geraldyne Barbour, chairwoman of the African American Heritage Commission, said. “This is a chance to highlight and show some of them.”

Friday evening, the event moves to the old Adkin High School building, now the Adkin Complex, 1216 Tower Hill Road. The school will be open for tours, and a meet and greet for people who spent time at the school.

Barbour said preserving the historic school is among the priorities of the Heritage Commission, and this weekend will serve as an important step in that effort.

Saturday, the Adkin Complex will play host to a cultural fair.

The fair begins at 10 a.m. and will feature a variety of vendors, exhibitors, local organizations and more.

Saturday evening, the focus will shift to Parker, and his contributions not only to music, but to Kinston, with a special tribute show.

Hosted by Parker’s brother, Melvin Parker, the event will feature live music, dancing, refreshments and a tribute to man of the evening.

“We hope people will come out and support Maceo and show him how much we love and appreciate him,” Barbour said.

All events, save for the tribute show, are free and open to the public. Tickets to the tribute show are $30 and available at the Lenoir County Arts Council, Tops, Bottoms and Soles, 135 N. Queen St., or at the door Saturday evening.

Dustin George can be reached at 252-559-1077 or Follow him on Twitter @DustinGeorgeKFP.