Juneteenth event to celebrate families

Published 12:05 am Saturday, August 6, 2016

By Shavonne Walker

SALISBURY — This year’s Juneteenth event is a nod to family reunions, says organizer Jill Burch, as a way to bring the community together through the family unit.

Usually held in June, the event almost didn’t happen, but Burch rebounded and got a new crew to help her plan the Aug. 20 event. The Saturday event will be held from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Kelsey Scott Park, 1920 Old Wilkesboro Road.

Juneteenth is recognized as the oldest African American holiday in the United States. The celebration was first recognized June 19, 1865, and commemorates the end of slavery by celebrating the joys of liberty, educating the community about African American heritage.

“The event also promotes positive cultural interaction,” Burch said.

This year’s theme is a “Black Family Reunion,” but organizers want all people to attend.

“This year’s new concept and mission centers around our families and community concerns. We are hoping the families, businesses, churches, civic and social organizations participate and share with others your mission and purpose for change under your own tent, preparing and dining on your own food,” she said.

“Since we have so much controversy in America and all local communities are trying to make a difference. This would be a good day for families to get together,” Burch said.

She said people just don’t talk to each other anymore.

“It’s just a large cookout with other families in the park,” Burch said.

Event spots are $20 per family and attendees can cook their own food. The fees for service and merchandise vendors are $50.

For more information contact the following: family reunion coordinator Gretchen Dunlap at 704-762-6971, service and merchandise vendor coordinators Jill Burch at 704-267-2567 or Darlene Scott at 704-637-2932, talent coordinator Barbara Summers at 704-232-0464.