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Arts and Entertainment

Juneteenth Festival ramps up
Organizers expect 50K for Charlotte celebration
 
Published Thursday, May 31, 2012 11:03 am
by Herbert L. White

Charlotte's annual Juneteenth celebration is around the corner.

The 15th annual Juneteenth Festival of the Carolinas will be held June 14-17 at Independence Park. Admission is free and the celebration goes from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. Organizers expect 50,000 people to attend the four-day event.

Juneteenth marks the freeing of slaves in Texas on June 19, 1865 – the last place African Americans were emancipated. The festival will offer a rich array of cultural traditions and diversity through food, arts and music. Ethnic foods and vendor displays will be part of the festivities, including arts, crafts and clothing from around the world.

Dance will also be an integral part of the celebration with R&B, blues, jazz, reggae and hip-hop performers joining dance groups for the festivities. The festival includes:

• Cultural Camp on June 14 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Elizabeth Traditional Elementary School. Mask-making, beading, storytelling and songs for children ages 3 and up. Participants can also bring a t-shirt for the tie-dye class.

• Drum circle on June 15 attracts music and dance enthusiasts from across the globe.

• Education Village ranges from lectures by educators and historians, to book signings and discussions.  African-American history is on display for those wishing to simply gather information.

• The Marilyn Griffith Turner Scholarship Fund, named posthumously after the former Juneteenth chairwoman. This four-year, $80,000 scholarship award by St. Augustine College is given to a student by the selection committee.

• Healthcare Village staffed with health care professionals from Carolinas Medical Center and First Care Medical clinic. Free healthcare screenings will be available.

• Children's Village with crafts, storyteller and stage performers.

• Entertainment stage includes fashion, dance, singing, poetry and gospel performers.

• Multicultural vendors from the U.S. and Africa hawking food, art, music and culturally relevant specialty items.

For more information on volunteering or to perform at the festival, call Pape Ndiaye at (704) 376-6160 or Zakar El at (704) 777-9075.

On the Net:

www.juneteenthofthecarolinas.com

 

 

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