Juneteenth 2018; Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ‘Stick with Love’

Just around the corner – St. Paul United Methodist Church and Juneteenth Celebration Committee are pleased to host the 2018 celebration. This is the 18th annual, and the theme for the three-day event is “Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Stick With Love.”
This is the 50th year anniversary since the unfortunate fate that brought Dr. King’s life to an end on April 4, 1968. But it was Dr. King, who on August 16, 1967, at the 11th annual convention of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, stated in his sermon titled “Where Do We Go From Here” stated the words “I have decided to stick with love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.” The theme is taken from Matthew 5:44, which says that we should love our enemies.
This year will mark the 153rd anniversary since the last slaves were freed in Galveston, TX, on June 19, 1865. It was when U.S. Major General Gordon Granger arrived in the City of Galveston. Thereafter, the final emancipation of slavery in this country officially ended.
There are a full slate of activities during this three-day celebration in Fayette. A complete Schedule of Events will be listed next week. However, some of the highlights include the following.
The first event to kick off the celebration will be the Gospel Fest. This will take place on Friday evening, 6:30 p.m., at the gazebo bandstand on the southwest side of the courthouse lawn.
Then on Saturday, the United Methodist Men of Linn Memorial and St. Paul United Methodist Churches will once again offer breakfast refreshments from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. This is a continental breakfast and there is no charge to join in a time of food, celebration and fellowship. All are welcome to attend.
The annual parade will kick off at 10 a.m. and start on Spring Street and move south around the courthouse Square. This year we will be joined by Mid-Missouri Highsteppers, well known group of youth from Columbia and affiliated with the Boys & Girls Club, Black business leaders; and the Grand Marshals. In addition, Mr. and Ms. Juneteenth, local Howard County queen Kasie Neville, and Lincoln Public School Memorial Committee Teacher of Year Award and graduating high school scholarship recipients. Many other units will take part in the parade including members of the Mid-MO Cruisers car club, motorcyclists and horses.
A car cruse-in will take place starting at 10 a.m. at no costs. Anyone is invited to bring their vehicle for display at the annual cruse-in.
The Missouri Highsteppers will perform at 11 a.m. on the courthouse square. We are excited to have them back again.
A new addition this year will be featured storyteller Liz Briscoe Wilson. Liz was born in Salina, KS. She has been a teacher for 45 years K-college, which includes university librarian at Lincoln University for 25 years. During this time Liz served as assistant professor library science, and department chair. Liz has read, researched and developed women in history to teach of their courage and perseverance in spite of the racism and hatred they faced. Harriett Tubman and Rosa Parks are just two of the women who she brings to life to teach. Feel free to ask Liz questions as she presents a tribute to these two women. Liz will perform at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
A recognition ceremony will take place at noon on the Southside of the courthouse lawn. The Grand Marshals, Mr./Ms. Juneteenth and Lincoln Public School Memorial Committee ‘Teacher of Year’ Award (Stacie Beaman) and High School graduation Scholarship Recipient (Chelsea Wysocki) will be honored.
There are a slate of activities in the afternoon. This includes a bake sale, historic Howard County jail tour, Bingo, taekwondo exhibition, and live Auction that features many newly purchased items including professional sporting tickets, household goods, gift certificates, wine and cheese gift package, vehicle oil change, etc. There will be a great deal of excitement and fun at the auction, so come to participate or just watch.
The final event on Saturday evening will conclude music offered by DJ Curtis “Blow Fly” Hale. DJ Blow Fly is from Kansas City, and formerly from Fayette where he was a member of St. Paul United Methodist Young Men Chorus in the 80’s. This will start at 7 p.m.
There will be numerous retail and informational booths available throughout the day. The main concession stand will be open all the day on Saturday. Rodney Gaines and family, along with Gaines Car Detailing/Moving and Delivery will be the sponsors.
Another new addition this year will be a community worship service on Sunday, at 11 a.m. According to Karen Jones, Pastor at St. Paul United Methodist Church and co-coordinator of the celebration, “This is a great way to close out the weekend celebration as we open the event with praise and song, and close out the event by hearing a word from God.” The service will take place under the main food tent location (at northeast corner Main and Morrison). All are welcome to attend this community service.
Grand Marshals for the celebration will be announced next week. As always, we want to salute and thank our military veterans as well as law enforcement and other first responders for their service to this country and the world. In appreciation for their service we invite each of them to a free meal ticket at the main concession stand on Saturday.
Everyone is invited to come out to the 18th Annual Celebration. If you wish to take part in the events, including the parade, you may contact coordinators – Pastor Karen Jones (573) 680-9889 or Tim Jackman (660) 248-2335.

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