Juneteenth is June 15

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The Twin Cities Juneteenth Celebration will take place at North Mississippi Regional Park, 5114 North Mississippi Drive, Saturday, June 15, starting at 10 a.m.

Tents will be set up with vendors including health and wellness, schools, organizations and merchandise, food, and new this year, a photo booth. Because there is no public parking on site (for vendors and dignitaries only), those attending are asked to take shuttles leaving every 45 minutes from NorthPoint Health & Wellness at 1315 Penn Ave. N., and Jenny Lind School, 5025 Bryant Ave. N.

Stage entertainment includes the following:

10:00-Mary Pargo and Black National Anthem (welcome)

10:30-Juneteenth Gospel Choir featuring Kevin Jackson and Ms. Arnise

11:30-Debbie Duncan – Jazz

12:15-Willie Walker – Soul, R&B and Blues

1:00-We Love Teena Marie & Rick James, Too, Featuring the Original Best Kept Secret & Shayde

1:45-JBrown’s Love TKO Tribute to Teddy Pendergrass

2:15-90’s R & B Revival

3:30-The Maxx Band

4:15-Anutha Level

5:00-TBA

Juneteenth commemorates the June 19, 1865 proclamation of the abolition of slavery in Texas. Various events leading up to and at Juneteenth explore aspects of African American History. For example, storytelling at local libraries (see announcement in The Northside Experience in this NorthNews).

An Underground Railroad Re-Enactment will start at Phyllis Wheatley Community Center on Friday, June 7 at 7 p.m. for transport to Camp Katharine Parsons in Oak Lake, Minn. for an overnight experience ending Saturday, June 8 at 9 a.m. Applications to participate, along with a $30 per person fee, are due May 31; the form is on the website www.juneteenthminnesota.org.

From the Juneteenth website:

“The Juneteenth Festival will partner with the Film Initiative in offering the Juneteenth Film Initiative (JFI) from June 13 to 16 in Minneapolis. Filmmakers Lee Henry Jordan, June Neely, and Alaina L. Lewis celebrate diversity in film with the JFI.”

“This year, the JFI is praising the heroic defiance, character and determination of Rosa Parks. Our beloved African-American sister was tired and only wanted to rest her weary body after a long day of work. The Segregationists ‘falsely arrested’ her for sitting in the front of the bus.”

Information, when available, will be posted at juneteenthfilminitiative.org/

Volunteer Juneteenth organizer Mary Pargo said at Juneteenth, there will be a re-enactment of Rosa Parks’ protest of segregation on the city buses. There will also be a slave auction re-enactment.

Wilderness Inquiry will be providing free paddling in the Mississippi River during the Juneteenth celebration Saturday, June 15, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The MLK Tennis Buffs and USTA Northern offers interactive tennis participation with youth who will be able to play at the Juneteenth Festival and win prizes. All levels from beginner to advanced are welcome. For more information, contact Tony Stingley at 952-358-3289.

There will be a youth essay contest and drawing contest: Youth 11 to 18 years of age are invited to submit a 250-word essay on a) What does Juneteenth mean to you and your family? or b) Why is Juneteenth an important historical event?

Youth 12 years of age and under are invited to submit an 8.5” by 11” drawing using the theme a) What Juneteenth means to you and your family or b) Why is Juneteenth an important historical event?

Prizes will be awarded for first and second places for both contests. All winners will be honored at the June 15 event. Drawings and essays need to be submitted to the Juneteenth Office by May 30, 2013, PO Box 11097, Minneapolis, MN, 55411.

Volunteers are needed for Juneteenth. See the website, www.juneteenthminnesota.org. Office phone number is 612-238-3733, email: info@juneteenthminnesota.org.