Juneteenth kicks off Saturday

Published 10:31 pm Friday, June 17, 2011

Instead of washing laundry, doing yard work or sleeping in, why not take a break for some food, celebration and musical enjoyment at Saturday’s Juneteenth Celebration?

Sponsored by the Ancient Africa, Enslavement and Civil War Museum, the free event will be held from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. inside Taylor-Z-Ville, located at 4100 U.S. Hwy 80, and will offer something for everyone.

“We’ll have several gospel choirs, roundtable discussions on the importance of fatherhood and workshops discussing the celebration and history of Juneteenth,” said co-coordinator of the event Sam Walker. “All of our Juneteenth celebrations have been different in times past and though we’ve had music before, we have primarily gospel acts this time.”

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In honor of Father’s Day, the museum is also holding a “Father of the Year” essay contest to honor a deserving father of the community. The winner of the contest will be honored during the celebration.

“The judges are in the process now at looking at entries,” Walker said. “The winning father will receive a trophy, and we’ll give a prize to the winning youth who wrote the essay.”

The Juneteenth holiday, which began in Galveston, Texas, is celebrated in nearly 40 states. The “Freedom Day” celebrates the ending of slavery in the United States. Walker said he expects a lot of public support at Saturday’s event.

“African-American history is American history,” Walker said. “It (the event) should be a spirit of all people coming together in celebration.”

Walker said free transportation is available for those who would like to attend Saturday’s event. A van will leave the WBFZ105.3 radio station at 1:30 p.m. and then at 2:30 p.m. Food will also be provided. For more information about the event call 526-2626.