Special thanks to the following 2019 Rondo Days Sponsors
WHO WE ARE
Rondo Avenue, Inc. (RAI) is dedicated to preserving, conserving and accurately interpreting the contributions of the African-American community of Rondo to the City of Saint Paul. This community was destroyed by the construction of Interstate I-94 in the 1960’s.
RAI’s goal is to transmit the history and rich cultural traditions of Rondo and connect them with modern values for an ever-evolving community. Through our work we share stories of faith, family, hope, resiliency and the continued growth and successes of the community.
History of Rondo Avenue Incorporated (RAI)
In the 1930s, Rondo Avenue was at the heart of Saint Paul, MN’s largest Black neighborhood. African-Americans whose families had lived in Minnesota for decades and others who were just arriving from the South made up a vibrant, vital community that was in many ways independent of the white society around it. The construction of I-94 in the 1960s shattered this tight-knit community, displaced thousands of African-Americans into a racially segregated city and a discriminatory housing market, and erased a now-legendary neighborhood.
While the construction of I-94 radically changed the landscape of the neighborhood, the community of Rondo still exists and its persistence and growth are celebrated through events like Rondo Days and the Jazz Festival.
In 1982, Marvin “Roger” Anderson and Floyd Smaller came up with an idea to bring back a sense of community, stability, and neighborhood values of the old Rondo community. It was their intent to create an organization dedicated to sharing the contributions of African Americans and the rich cultural history of the Rondo community to the City of Saint Paul, and the great State of Minnesota; and to bring people together to celebrate the positive growth and diversity of the beloved Rondo community.
As the founders, their hard work and dedication to the memory of the Rondo community resulted in the formation of the “Rondo Avenue, Inc.” organization and the Rondo Days Festival. The Rondo Days Festival celebrates the best and brightest of Minnesota’s African-American stories, achievements and culture. It reunites a dispersed people, welcomes new neighbors and encourages everyone to be mindful of the extent to which neighborhoods nourish our souls.
Saturday, July 20th, 2019
FRANK ADAMS 5K WALK AND RUN
In this day and age, staying healthy is at the top of the personal priority list for many of us. Rondo Avenue, Inc. partners with the Inner Cities Athletic Association (ICAA) to host the annual Frank Adams 5K Walk & Run to jump start the festival day. The walk and run route follows the same path as the Rondo Days Parade (in a roundtrip manner), beginning at the Hallie Q. Brown/MLK Center, through the Rondo community to St. Peter Claver Church and back to HQB/MLK.
Saturday, July 20th, 2019
RONDO DAYS FESTIVAL AND GRANDE PARADE
The Rondo Days Parade begins at 10AM at St. Peter Claver Church and is routed through the Rondo neighborhood – with a variety of parade participants from Drill & Dance Teams, to Floats, to Politicians, Educators, Business Owners and Youth groups – to the festival grounds, where the entertainment stage generally launches the festival around 12PM and runs until 7PM. People come from near and far to celebrate the Rondo community.
Thursday, July 18th, 2019
RONDO SENIOR DINNER
The Rondo Senior Recognition Dinner occurs annually on the Thursday evening prior to the Rondo Days Parade and Festival. The dinner event offers an opportunity for 300 plus members of the old Rondo community to reunite and reminisce over a home cooked meal provided by Rondo Avenue, Inc.
FLOYD GEORGE SMALLER
"Rondo had strong black individuals in the community that held people together"