Reunion Destination Cities: Where to Throw Your Party

Detroit is the home of the Wright Museum of African American History, above.
Detroit is the home of the Wright Museum of African American History, above. (Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau)
Sunday, January 8, 2006

Here are some U.S. cities that promote themselves as African American reunion destinations.

Atlanta. This civil rights stronghold goes the extra mile to offer assistance, hosting three free, day-long planning seminars this year -- Jan. 29, June 25 and Sept. 24. Travel stipends for some reunion planners are available. Tourism officials also offer a free reunion packet, help planners choose hotels and offer souvenirs. Details: Lydia Douglas, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, 404-521-6640,http://www.atlantareunions.net/.

Chicago. The Windy City's lively blues club scene, among other attractions, makes it a popular reunion base. Tourism officials say they will help with every aspect of planning. Details: Bill Williams, Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau, 312-567-8476, http://www.chicago.com. Black CouTours, a Chicago travel agency specializing in black heritage tours, also organizes reunions: 773-233-8907, http://www.blackcoutours.com.

Detroit. Tourism officials in the Motor City -- home to such venues as the Motown music studios and the Wright Museum of African American History -- offer advice on hotels, picnic-friendly parks and other attractions. Details: Jennifer Petrous, Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, 800-225-5389,http://www.visitdetroit.com/.

Oakland, Calif. With its majority African American population and proximity to Bay Area attractions, the city makes a good West Coast reunion backdrop. The visitors bureau's tool kit at http://www.hometownhost.oaklandcvb.comwalks planners through the process. Details: Theo Jackson, Oakland Convention & Visitors Bureau, 510-839-9000,http://www.oaklandcvb.com.

Philadelphia. In this stomping ground of a generation of African American recording stars, the Convention & Visitors Bureau offers assistance with hotels and other details. A special multicultural team thelps with reunion planning. Details: Elka Slider, Philadelphia Multicultural Affairs Congress, 215-636-4432,http://www.philadelphiamac.org/.

Washington. A rich assortment of African American heritage sites, coupled with monuments and other atrractions, makes the District a popular reunion destination. Details: Convention and Tourism Corp., 202-789-7000, http://www.washington.org. -- Gary Lee


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