CHARLOTTE (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Large crowds are expected in Uptown Charlotte this weekend as part of the Omega Psi Phi conclave, which is returning the Queen City for the first time in nearly 20 years.
Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden, a member of the fraternity, emphasized how big of a deal this is for the city. Tens of thousands of people, each spending thousands of dollars.
“It brings millions of dollars (to the area),” he said. “But it’s also a great time to fellowship, network, (and maybe) start a business.”
The fraternity also has the likes of South Carolina Representative Jim Clyburn, Shaquille O’Neal, and Steve Harvey among its ranks. The fraternity itself is notable as being the first fraternity founded at a historically Black college.
“These are lawyers, doctors, senators, congressmen, students, restaurant owners,” said McFadden. “Anyone who is doing anything is, in purple and gold.”
History is a big part of the event here. McFadden showed us several displays showing notable fraternity members, along with the founders of Omega Psi Phi, who started the organization in 1911.
For attendees, they see this as a way to connect to friends, and to those they have never even met.
“Everything is nostalgia,” said Zachary Rollins, who came to attend the conclave from Pennsylvania.
‘This is my first experience,” said Delane Rouse, from Virginia. “I’m relatively new to the fraternity. It’s awesome. I’ve never seen this much purple, and gold, and camouflage, but it’s awesome.”