Clifton Davis Leads Sunoco Welcome America! Festival

PHILADELPHIA, March 20 /PRNewswire/ — America’s biggest birthday party just got more exciting as the City of Philadelphia announced that renowned actor, producer and music composer, Clifton Davis, has joined the Sunoco Welcome America! Festival as its new executive director. Sunoco Welcome America! is the nation’s largest Independence celebration, with seven days of family oriented fun and festivities including a July 4th parade, concert and fireworks display. This year’s festival dates are June 28-July 4, 2006.

Dr. Davis, 60, is an actor, singer, composer, producer and minister. He is best known for his 5-year stint as Reverend Reuben Gregory on the popular television series, ‘Amen.’ Most recently, Davis appeared in the Disney film, ‘Halloweentown High’ and stars in the soon-to-be-released independent film, ‘Bagels, Lox and Hamhocks.’ He also portrayed Mayor Smalls in the Al Pacino film, ‘Any Given Sunday.’ Davis received a Grammy nomination for his hit song, “Never Can Say Goodbye.”

“Clifton Davis has been a bright star on the national stage for four decades. He brings a wealth of experience and a host of contacts in the entertainment industry to his new role,” said Mayor John F. Street. “The festival will benefit from his expertise and professional network as it builds on previous successes, including last year’s concert with Sir Elton John, and nurture Philadelphia’s growing reputation as one of America’s most exciting cities. My friendship with Clifton Davis spans 40 years, and I am confident he has the right blend of experience, energy and ability to broaden the appeal of the festival to a national audience.”

Prior to joining Sunoco Welcome America!, Dr. Davis was the founder and manager of Clifton Davis Productions, specializing in producing major live events, television programming, recording and documentary films.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to build on the great work that has made Sunoco Welcome America! one of the world’s biggest outdoor festivals,” said Davis. “Throwing the country’s biggest birthday party will be exciting and challenging. I hope to put my knowledge of entertainment, production and fundraising to good use for the benefit of the City and everyone who wants to come to Philadelphia to celebrate freedom.”

From January 1995 to September 1996, Dr. Davis served as Vice Chancellor for Development & Planning at Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina. Dr. Davis was Honorary Membership Chairman of the National Parent Teacher Association from 1989-91 and has served on the advisory council for The Children’s Defense Fund.

Over the years, Dr. Davis has become a celebrated motivational speaker and is the recipient of more than 150 awards and citations for his service to such organizations as the UNCF, the NAACP Easter Seals and other social/civic organizations.

Dr. Davis holds a BA in Theology from Oakwood College, Huntsville, Alabama and a Master of Divinity degree from Andrews University in Michigan.

This year’s Sunoco Welcome America! Festival will take place from June 28th to July 4th, 2006.

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