National recording artist Darryl “Lil' D” Wheeler will appear here tomorrow as part of the third annual TeenFest 2003 in downtown Toledo's Promenade Park.
The 15-year-old native of Chattanooga, Tenn., will perform on the Promenade Park main stage at 4 p.m. at the CitiFest, Inc., alcohol-free event, scheduled from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The free festival, designed for teens 19 and under, also will feature seven graffiti artists simultaneously painting a 60-foot-long mural; a BMX bike demonstration; skateboard competition, and a casting call hosted by the TV 5/WB station, at which teens can audition for the opportunity to appear on a WB series.
Other features include Teen Town, where teens can obtain literature on topics which affect their age group, and Teen Summer Jam, a talent show.
Starting at 11 a.m. on the main stage, area teen bands Them One Guys, Dance FX Academy, Impressions, Decibel, and Sasha will perform 50-minute sets.
Aside from his G-rated lyrics on his father's record label, Come Clean Entertainment, Lil' D is known for his association with the popular R&B artist Usher (Raymond), who was managed by his father, Darryl, Sr., early in the artist's career when he belonged to a group called NuBeginning.
“My dad would be practicing with [Usher and NuBeginning] and I would be pulling on his leg and telling my dad, `Watch me dad, watch me' and he would put me on stage and I'd really perform,” said the polite young man, who answers questions from a reporter with a respectful “yes ma'am.”
“Usher, we just come from the same camp. A lot of the same stuff my father put into him, and he's very creative, I also have. I would just watch Usher while he was singing in the mirror and study his facial expressions and he is a good dancer,” said Lil' D, who emphasized that he has developed a style all his own.
TeenFest 2003 will run from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow in and around Promenade Park in downtown Toledo. Information: 419-249-5018 or www.citifest.org.