Juneteenth planning under way

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Plans are under way for Juneteenth 2009, a festival of games, music and activities aimed at celebrating family and community.
This year’s celebration will be held 9 a.m.-8 p.m. June 27 at Kelsey Scott Park off Old Wilkesboro Road.
Sponsors are the Juneteenth Committee, First Community, Federal Credit Union, Food Lion, Walmart and Enterprise.
The one-day historical event has been held here annually since the 1990s. This year, organizers hope the event will expand.
“As our diverse community continues to grow, our goal for the Juneteenth Celebration is to make this event not an African-American event,” says Sherry Hawthorne, president of the Juneteenth Committee.
The committee’s goal is to provide a free, fun-filled, daylong event for the entire community รณ all while raising awareness of Juneteenth’s history.
Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States and has been called the African-American Emancipation Day.
On June 19, 1965, Union soldiers led by Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger landed at Galveston, Texas, with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free.
That was two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
The anniversary of that day became known as Juneteenth, and the celebrations eventually spread throughout the country.
This year’s local celebration will begin with a parade at 9 a.m. Participants will line up on Liberty Street at 8 a.m.
At Kelsey Scott Park, Salisbury Parks and Recreation will sponsor games and activities throughout the day.
A horseshoe tournament will be held at 3 p.m.
The day includes a gospel extravaganza, a live step show, a dance show, a classic car and motorcycle contest and a section of children’s activities.
The Juneteenth Committee is accepting applications for talent and food vendors. The deadline to get applications in is June 20.
Food vendors are required to pay a $55 vendor fee. They also must complete a vendor application with the Rowan County Health Department at least 10 days before the event and pay a fee there.
For more information, contact Hawthorne at 704-267-3871.