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Jamestown Juneteenth Celebration Continues Today

Crowd of people gather at an outdoor Juneteenth concert. P-J Photo by Chirstopher Blakeslee

Jamestown’s Juneteenth Celebration continues today and Sunday with entertainment and activities throughout the day in Jackson-Taylor Park.

The celebration will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Regina Bradley, one of the event organizers, said to expect something for everyone this year.

“Saturday we have kids games like bounce houses and other fun kids activities,” Bradley said. “There will be a basketball clinic and African American drum and dance workshops, along with other live entertainment.”

Performers on Saturday include Preach Freedom and Marcia McWilson. On Sunday morning the activities start with a worship service, followed by a gospel fest. The presentation of the scholarship is set for Sunday at 2 p.m., which Bradley said is a part of the organization’s mission to give one local African American senior money to go towards higher education.

Other activities, vendors and agencies will be involved with the weekend celebrations, including two food trucks. Bradley said everyone should come out and enjoy the day and learn something.

“Come out and enjoy the celebration of Juneteenth and freedom in Jamestown,” Bradley said. “It’s a diverse group of people that come and you can also learn more about why we celebrate Juneteenth. We will have an education table that will tell people more about what Juneteenth is.”

Juneteenth is the celebration of the day that enslaved African Americans in Texas learned that they were free, which took place on June 19, 1865. Texas was the last state in America to free slaves, which is why Juneteenth is a celebration of that day, officially becoming a federal holiday in 2021.

Bradley said people should be interested in coming to learn more about the day.

“People should be interested in coming to understand and be a part of the celebration,” Bradley said. “They can come and learn and engage with the community. There will be something for everyone, including games, music and food.”

Juneteenth celebrations take place across many cities in the United States, and Bradley said she was happy that Jamestown is one of those cities. She added that the goal of the organization that puts on the events every year is to bring more awareness to Juneteenth and celebrate the emancipation of slaves.

Bradley hopes everyone will come out and have a good time, learn, and get involved to help continue the celebration for many years to come.

“This is something that has happened in Jamestown for over 20 years, but over the last four or five years it has taken an upward move,” Bradley said. “People are becoming more aware of the day and educating themselves. There has been a growth of Juneteenth in the city and people are more educated, which is what we are here to do. Our mission is to bring awareness and benefit the youth, such as with things like the scholarship to help a young African American student pursue their dream of higher education.”

For more information and a full schedule of activities, visit the Juneteenth of Jamestown, NY Facebook page.

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