Norfolk’s Attucks Theatre hosts free gospel celebration Sunday is your source for free local news and information in Virginia Beach


Gospel artists will celebrate the musical heritage of Norfolk’s Church Street Sunday, with free live performances.

The city’s third annual Church Street Celebration, featuring local choirs, solo performers and speakers, will take place from 3-7 p.m. at Attucks Theatre, 1010 Church St., according to a release. Doc Christian and Asia Symone of 88.1 WHOV’s “The Gospel Express” are slated to serve as emcees. The headliner will be Reverend Primas Paige & Heaven Bound gospel choir.

The moving force behind the Gospel event is Norfolk City Council member Paul R. Riddick, according to Ma’rie Hodges, director of marketing and public relations for SevenVenues.

“This is his baby,” she said in a phone interview.

Riddick, who represents Ward 4, was first elected in 1992, according to his biography on the city’s website.

On Sunday, doors to the theater will open at 3 p.m., Hodges said. There will be general admission seating. The venue has a capacity of 625 people.

Others scheduled to appear include:

  • Rev. William K. Collins III
  • Rev. Dr. William Collins Jr.
  • Gethsemane Baptist Church
  • Bernard “PeeWee” Thompson
  • Garden of Prayer Worship Center Mass Choir
  • Jamel Walker
  • Piney Grove Baptist Church Mass Choir
  • The United House of Prayer
  • Basilica Mass Choir of St. Mary Catholic Church
  • Honey in the Rock Dance Theatre
  • Teens With a Purpose
  • Mosaic Steel Orchestra

The performances were originally set to take outside, in an open lot near Church Street. They were moved inside “due to the forecasted thunderstorms and excessive heat,” the release said.

The Attucks Theatre was once known as “the Apollo Theater of the South,” according to a description on the SevenVenues website. It is named for Crispus Attucks, an African-American man who died during the Boston Massacre of 1770. A National Historic Landmark since 1977,  it reopened in 2004 after a three-year renovation through a partnership between Norfolk’s Department of Cultural Facilities and the Crispus Attucks Cultural Center Inc.

More information about the gospel celebration is available here.


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Joan Quigley is a former Miami Herald business reporter, a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and an attorney. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post,, and Talking Points Memo. Her recent book, Just Another Southern Town: Mary Church Terrell and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Nation’s Capital, was shortlisted for the 2017 Mark Lynton History Prize. Her first book, The Day the Earth Caved In: An American Mining Tragedy, won the 2005 J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award.