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July 01, 2016

Nothing says summer like a good concert and with the 22nd annual Essence Festival kicking off today in New Orleans, we couldn’t be more amped for the holiday weekend ahead! From now through Sunday, July 3, attendees will be treated to four full days of entertainment and programming.

While concertgoers will enjoy Superdome headliners like Mariah Carey, Ciara, Kendrick Lamar, Diddy, and Common, one of the main highlights of the weekend will surely be when Oprah Winfrey makes her first Essence Festival appearance at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on Saturday afternoon. “Oprah’s message of inspiration is universal and, through her life’s work, she has influenced women and girls across the globe,” said Essence Editor-in-Chief Vanessa De Luca in a statement.

Attendees will also able to take in the various panels at two inaugural events: the Money & Power Expo and the Beauty & Style Expo, where speakers including Tyra Banks and Misty Copeland will dish on their best beauty and fashion tips. Later in the weekend, the glamorous Tina Knowles (aka: Beyoncé and Solange’s mom) herself will take the stage to accept the first-ever Inspiring Leadership Award.

Keep your eyes on this space as we bring you the best of #EssenceFest coverage in the coming days.

RELATED: Mariah Carey & Ciara Will Be Performing at the 2016 Essence Festival—See the Full Lineup!

In the meantime, scroll through to see the excitement building up among the entertainers themselves.