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Fayette’s 23rd annual Juneteenth celebration is just a week away. The celebration has been extended to five days, beginning Wednesday, June 14, and concluding on Sunday, June 18. This marks the …
Fayette’s 23rd annual Juneteenth celebration is just a week away. The celebration has been extended to five days, beginning Wednesday, June 14, and concluding on Sunday, June 18. This marks the 158th anniversary since the last enslaved people were declared free in Galveston, Texas.
This year’s theme, “United We Stand-Rooted in Unity,” reminds us of the barriers that need to be broken down to build people up and restore relationships.
Rev. Emanuel Cleaver, who is also a U.S. Congressman, stated, “There is more power in unity than division.” The Juneteenth Committee has also collaborated with the Fayette Bicentennial Committee.
A full slate of events and activities is on tap for the five-day celebration (see the complete schedule on page 4). New events include a movie night on Wednesday. “Oh, Freedom After While” will be shown in Stedman 200 on the CMU campus. On Friday, a live Reader’s Theater will highlight “The Frank and Adeline Switzler Story,” with the performance produced by the Voices of Arrow Rock. On Saturday, most activities will occur on the courthouse lawn, starting with the Kid’s Market, presented by Fayette Main Street, Inc. Also new this year is a free-of-charge MO Child Identification Program (MoCHIP), a comprehensive child identification program designed to give Missouri families a measure of protection against the ever-increasing problem of missing and abducted children. R&B, jazz, and easy-listening music will be performed by William Thompson and his band, “We Be Friends.” At 4 p.m. on Saturday, a mural dedication will take place at Paige-Liberty Park on Railroad Street to honor local artist Charles Broadus. Another central attraction downtown will be the Gaines food tent open during the day.
Other planned activities include a fun educational forum. Juneteenth Jeopardy kicks off at 7 p.m. on Thursday evening following a free hotdog roast at 5:30 p.m. at Paige-Liberty Park, and gospel music at 6:30 p.m. Friday will feature special guest Eugene Peebles and his band. Day-long activities Saturday begin at 7:30 a.m. Anyone interested in participating in the 9 a.m. parade is welcome. The line-up starts at 8:15 a.m. on Spring Street. No pre-registration is required. The opening ceremony will commence at 10 a.m. to formally honor the Grand Marshals, who will be announced next week, with games, a poster contest, and other events to follow. A fireworks show will take place at Paige-Liberty Park at dusk.
Members of the Fayette Bicentennial Committee will have a booth on Saturday for those interested in submitting items for the next time capsule that will be buried in August.
The concluding event will be a community worship service on the courthouse lawn at 10 a.m. on Sunday. Rev. Charlie Wright, Sr., Pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Fayette, will deliver the message.
Informational and retail booths are available at no charge on Saturday. To reserve a booth or for any questions surrounding the Juneteenth celebration, contact one of the following: Tim Jackman (573) 289-3714; Rev. Susan McCollegan (417) 830-8696; or Rev. Lue Lockridge-Lane (660) 537-2156. This is a family-friendly event, and no cost to attend and participate.
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