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Fayette Juneteenth will kick off five-day celebration June 19

Posted 6/4/24

Fayette will celebrate its 24th annual Juneteenth on June 19-23. This year’s theme is “Juneteenth: Honoring History; Embracing Progress,” and will honor the sacrifices and …

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Fayette Juneteenth will kick off five-day celebration June 19


Fayette will celebrate its 24th annual Juneteenth on June 19-23. This year’s theme is “Juneteenth: Honoring History; Embracing Progress,” and will honor the sacrifices and struggles of our ancestors while looking toward a future where everyone is treated with dignity and respect and equality and justice are not just ideals but realities for all. 

This year’s celebration will expand its events and activities, all of which remain free and open to the public. Major organizing sponsors are St. Paul United Methodist Church, Linn Memorial United Methodist Church, Second Baptist Church, Fayette Together, and the Central Missouri Clergy Coalition. 

This year, Juneteenth is one week later. The committee decided to kick off the five-day event on the official federal holiday, June 19. The first scheduled event will occur at 6:19 p.m. (the time coincides with the date of June 19) and features the Rev. C. W. Dawson, Jr., who spoke at the Juneteenth Community Worship Service on June 19, 2022. Rev. Dr. Dawson is the first African American to attain a PhD. in philosophy from the University of Missouri and is an ordained minister. He has spent the last few years researching the topic of Colorism. This year’s topic, “A Dirty Little Secret (Colorism and Christianity),” is free and open to the public and will take place at the St. Joseph Catholic Fellowship Hall.  

At 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, the committee will sponsor a play produced and directed by Dr. Elvira Maxwell. “Why We Celebrate Juneteenth” will include area youth and be presented at Central Methodist University’s Little Theatre. The event is also free and open to all ages. Light refreshments will follow the performance.

The celebration continues at 6:30 p.m. on Friday with the annual Gospel Fest, featuring the local and talented Derrick Enyard Band. The band will perform gospel music and other music. During intermission there will be Juneteenth trivia, another new twist to the celebration this year.

The celebration kicks into high gear on Saturday, June 22. The United Methodist Men will offer complimentary refreshments starting at 7:30 a.m., followed by the Howard County Health and Wellness Council’s children’s “Race Around the Square,” the Kids Market, a Youth Poster Contest, car show, games, and a live auction. The annual parade will begin at 9 a.m. downtown, followed by the opening ceremony at 10 a.m. at the courthouse bandstand. During the ceremony, the grand marshals and other honorees will be recognized. 

Kona Ice will offer free treats during the morning and early afternoon, and The Gaines food tent, always a popular attraction, will be on hand to serve food and refreshments.

A new event that afternoon offered by the Ordinary Jane Organization (OJO) will be a “Sip and Paint” at the Alexander building (former opera house) from 2:30-6:30 p.m. Later that evening, OJO will have the Derrick Enyard Band “Biscuits & Groovy” event performing live at the same location.

There will also be activities starting at 4 p.m. at Paige-Liberty Park with food, music, and other activities for the public. At dusk, the park will host a fireworks show sponsored by the Juneteenth Celebration Committee.

Concluding the Juneteenth Celebration Week will be a community worship service at 10 a.m. Sunday at the bandstand. The Rev. Dr. Mike Mayo of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church in Glasgow will be the speaker, and a community choir will perform at the service. For anyone interested in being a part of the choir, a rehearsal will take place at the bandstand at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Worship service offerings will go back into the community to support the Ministerial Alliance Benevolence Fund.  

The committee appreciates all those who support and fund the Fayette Juneteenth Celebration. Anyone interested in participating in the celebration or having a booth on Friday or Saturday may contact Juneteenth coordinators Tim Jackman (573-289-3714) or Lue Lockridge-Lane (660-537-2156). More details will be published in the Advertiser as they are made available and posted to the Fayette MO Juneteenth 2024 Facebook page.


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