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NEW ORLEANS -- The ESSENCE Festival Of Culture is back in full force, with tens of thousands of people flooding New Orleans for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

It's a celebration of Black music, food, history, and that's barely scratching the surface.

Vice President Kamala Harris will head to the festival Saturday, according to a White House official.

She will take part in a fireside conversation with Emmy-winning actress Keke Palmer, speaking to the most critical issues facing Black women, including the implications of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

It will be the largest audience the vice president has addressed since the court's decision last Friday, the official said.

Harris, who spoke at the ESSENCE Festival in 2019, will also meet privately with the leaders of reproductive justice organizations while in New Orleans.

Eyewitness News reporter Darla Miles is at the festival. Watch her report in the video player above.

You can also watch "ESSENCE Fest Primetime" exclusively on Hulu starting at 8 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

This year is especially unique because The Walt Disney Company is the exclusive entertainment partner and will invite audiences to experience this year's theme: The Power of Joy.

Disney is the parent company of this ABC station.

ALSO READ | ESSENCE Festival of Culture 2022: What to expect this year
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Caroline Wanga and Pauline Malcolm, two of ESSENCE's C-suite executives, give a preview of this year's ESSENCE Festival of Culture.

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Tags: feel good stories arts entertainment arts entertainment live music hulu festival music news otrc feel good stories feel good stories this year’s decision celebration of black the festival new orleans

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Man charged with murder of girl, 13, after ‘ramming car into a crowd of people’

A DRIVER has been charged with murder after he allegedly hit and killed a 13-year-old girl in Australia.

A 52-year-old man allegedly drove his car into a crowd at in Mount Isa, north-west Queensland, in the early hours of Saturday.

1Emergency services rushed to the suburb of Pioneer in Mount Isa early this morningCredit: Google Maps

It is claimed there was a large disturbance in the suburb of Pioneer involving multiple people at around 2am.

It is further alleged that a man drove a vehicle directly into the group, striking the 13-year-old.

Emergency services rushed to her help, but the teen could sadly not be saved.

The unnamed girl died of significant head injuries at the scene, police confirmed.

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The man who was charged with murder, a local, will appear in court on Monday.

Meanwhile police are investigating the incident and speaking to several families in the community.

Detective Inspector Dave Barron said: "I can assure the community that we are taking this matter very seriously and investigating this intensively."

"Our sympathy goes out to the family and the community who are feeling … grief at this time."

Police have urged anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online.

A local told the Courier Mail her shock at the incident.

She said: "It's one of those things that really shakes you.

"It would be horrible regardless of who was involved but when it's a young girl it is really bad."

Tragically, this is the town's second hit-and-run of the weekend, after two pedestrians were hospitalised by a stolen vehicle in the early hours of Friday.

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