"It’s the average natural hair meet up taken up a notch," says Charisse Higgins of the Curly Girl Collective. Like any natural hair organization the Curly Girl Collective fosters acceptance of curly hair - but their specialty is innovative event planning and unique experiences.

"We started in 2011 and even before then we’d noticed that natural hair meet ups tend to be the same. What usually brings people out is a big name blogger and maybe a gift bag, but we do so much more!" Curly Girl Collective's events have included everything from a panel for men to give their opinions on natural hair, a speed networking event (think speed dating with celebrities and bloggers), interactive photo booths and even a "hair wall." And their next event is going to be their biggest yet.

CurlFest - The Ultimate Summer Picnic

CurlFest - The Ultimate Summer Picnic is going to be held June 22 in the unofficial mecca for natural hair: Brooklyn. The Ultimate Summer Picnic in Prospect Park is going to be a fun event for men and women who love natural hair to come mix and mingle. There'll be music, games, vendors - what better way to celebrate our favorite season?

Features include music by DJ Hollywood, food trucks courtesy of Gorilla Cheese NYC, Desi Truck and Andy’s Ice, complimentary snacks by Snapea Crisps, The CGC Marketplace, beverages, games and gift bags, to name a few. Confirmed sponsors are EdenBodyWorks, Ouidad, Curls, Vita Coco, Shea Moisture, Miss Jessie’s, Burgeon and media partner NaturallyCurly.

Curlfest is an opportunity to unite the many supporters of the natural hair community, and gain nationwide awareness of the community’s purpose to promote self love, empower curly women and combat societal views that lead to self-hate and low self esteem. Various bloggers, vloggers, tastemakers, community leaders and fashion-forward natural-haired women and the men who love them will gather at the Nethermead section of Prospect Park for the one-day celebration and the official start of summer.

The CGC Marketplace  will feature fashion and beauty vendors : Esther Woo, Afros: A Celebration Of Natural Hair by Michael July, Emilisa Inc., Jewel House Junkies, Jewel’s Vintage Closet, Xpressions by ML, Haus of Swag, Lily &Eve, Pauline  Asmah Designs,  Pearl’s Boutique, Clutches her Pearls, Liligrow Boutique, 2 Lite Creations, Adorn and Nick Knacks.

“We’re very excited to see our vision come to life,” said creative director, Curly Girl Collective Melody Henderson.  “Curlfest is an event for everyone near and far who support this natural hair movement to come together and celebrate hair that many people have been led to believe isn’t beautiful.”

In the past few years, the natural hair community has been on the rise. According to Mintel, "Relaxers represent 21 percent of the black haircare market with expenditures at $152 million, and are down 15 percent since 2011 due to the natural hair trend.” As a result, the need to meet with other local women who choose to wear their hair natural as a way to garner support has become very important to the natural hair community.

Curlfest is an initiative that draws attention to the importance and strength of communities, builds relationships on a grand scale and drives awareness of the love so many people have for natural hair. This announcement further illustrates Curly Girl Collective’s commitment to creating experiences that celebrate women with natural hair. There will be a series of events in 2014 that continue to support this vision.

  • WhenJune 22, 2014 from 1-6pm
  • WhereProspect Park, Brooklyn

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*Editor's Note: Demand for this event has been unprecedented and the tickets have already sold out, but if you'd like to be notified of the next Curly Girl Collective event be sure to like them on Facebook to stay in the loop.