Last year’s event drew about 28,000 attendees, making Juneteenth one of the major celebrations in the Syracuse area.
The 22nd Annual Juneteenth African-American Cultural Festival is sponsored by Wegman’s, POWER620, City of Syracuse and Syracuse Model Neighborhood Facility Inc. and will take place Friday and Saturday, June 14 and 15, with the main celebration in Clinton Square on the 15th. The theme is Sankofa.
Sankofa is an Akan word that means, “We must go back and reclaim our past so we can move forward; so we understand why and how we came to be who we are today.”
The 2013 Juneteenth African-American Cultural Festival commemorates the date – June 19, 1865 – when the slaves in Galveston, TX first received the word of the Emancipation Proclamation abolishing slavery which was originally issued by Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. Today, Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom which emphasizes education and achievement. Resolutions have been unanimously passed in the United States House of Representative and in the Senate encouraging the observance of Juneteenth with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs across the country.
Friday, June 14, is Gospel Friday consisting of a 10 a.m. flag-raising at City Hall and a community gathering at the Spirit of Jubilee Park on South Avenue showcasing Live Gospel Music from 5 to 9 p.m.
The crowning event of the Celebration is on Saturday, June 15, with the 2013 Juneteenth African-American Cultural Festival in Clinton Square. Event starts at noon with the Visions of Victory parade that begins at Dr. King Elementary School on Raynor Avenue ending at Clinton Square. The Grand Marshals will be Mayor Stephanie Miner and Pastor Daren Jaime People’s AME Zion Church. The events at Clinton Square will include The Henry A. Washington Health Pavilion coordinated by The Syracuse Area Black Nurses Association offering health screenings/information and massages, The Kids Zone, and local bands and dance troupes will perform from 1:30 to 10 p.m. To attend the event is free of charge.
For more information, visit The Juneteenth Website.