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Sharpton excited to head to Essence Fest in New Orleans

With just a few days until the big event starts, Rev.

With just a few days until the big event starts, Rev. Al Sharpton is fired up and excited to return to Essence Festival in New Orleans this coming Fourth of July weekend.

Sharpton has been a fixture at the annual festival for years and has spoken at every Essence Festival since it started in 1995. This year he'll serve as the keynote speaker for Saturday's events.

"I love the workshops, I love the activities in terms of the seminars, I love the entertainment, I love the booths, just the whole culture," he said. "I get swept up."

Beyond Sharpton's address, attendees will have the chance to hear from living civil rights legend Congressman John Lewis, who'll join others including Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Myrlie Evers Williams, and Shirley Sherrod for a panel discussion on "Icons of the Civil Rights Movement."

Rev. Sharpton will host three special episodes of PoliticsNation live from the Essence Festival this weekend, including interviews with Lewis, other big speakers, and perhaps a few of the performers who will be at this year's "Essence Fest."

Tune in to our special shows on Friday, July 5, set to air at 3pm ET, and shows at 1pm ET on Saturday, July 6 and Sunday, July 7.

And for anyone attending Essence Festival in person, be sure to stop by the msnbc Blueberry Pie Cafe.