Hundreds gather for third annual RAS Day Festival

A unique sound echoes throughout East Austin from a festival equally as unique.

"We are celebrating RAS Day. In 2013 the City of Austin proclaimed the day 'Riders Against the Storm Day.' Since then Riders Against the Storm has gone on to win Austin Music Awards 'Band of the Year' three years in a row so we are here giving to the community that has given us so much," Qi Dada Jean said.

Jean, a singer in Riders Against the Storm, said RAS Day was designed to not only entertain and unite the community but also help uplift the spirits of the hundreds in attendance.

"In Creole, I'm from Haiti, there is a saying that means 'a thousand hands on a package makes it very light.' So that's part of what we want to emphasize here at RAS Day that your health is important to us and your community and you're not alone," Jean said.

It is a message that some have accepted with an open heart and one that will hopefully resonate with many for years to come.

"Breaking down the barriers allows us to not only celebrate ourselves and show self love in a way we don't often get to but also celebrating each other," Kelene Blake-Fallon, an attendee, said.

"What we really desire is that people remember this space where all the boundaries were melted away even if it was just for this evening or this afternoon but you can always go back to that and go into the places that govern so much of our lives and know that, that is possible there too. That the walls can be dissolved," Jean said.

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