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The Voice of the Black Community
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Arts and Entertainment

Organizers: Juneteenth to go on despite budget shortfall
Festival scheduled to run June 13 - 16
 
Published Thursday, June 13, 2013
by Michaela L. Duckett

Last week, Pape Ndiaye, president of the nonprofit that sponsors the annual Juneteenth Festival of the Carolinas event, attended the weekly Tuesday Morning Breakfast Forum at West Charlotte Recreation Center. He said funding for the festival had fallen behind schedule and asked for the community’s support in raising $2,500 needed to reserve Independence Park June 13-16.

Ndiaye had until Thursday noon to pay the fee. Although he still had not yet come up with the funds Monday afternoon, he remained optimistic.

“God will pull it together, definitely,” he told The Post. “The ancestors, they work with me.”

According to Ndiaye, it costs about $25,000 to put the festival on each year. This is not the time organizers have experienced financial setbacks. Two years ago, then-Mecklenburg County Manager Harry Jones reportedly approved a waiver of the park registration fee.

The Juneteenth celebration kicked off Thursday with a children’s day camp at A New Vision Child Development Center at 500 W. 32nd St.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday the event will be at Independence Park on the corner of 7th Street and Hawthorne.

Juneteenth is celebrated each June in remembrance of General Gordon Grainger and his soldiers, who on June 19, 1865 rode into Galveston, Texas more than two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation spreading the word that slaves had been freed. Many slaves were still unaware that the practice had been abolished.

Planned events for this year’s festival include:

  • An Education Village featuring books, discussions and lectures by prominent educators and historians on African-American history.
  • Presentation of The Marilyn Griffith Turner Scholarship Fund, a four-year scholarship to St. Augustine College valued at $80,000.
  • A Healthcare Village staffed with health care professionals from area hospitals and clinics providing education about various health issues and free screenings.
  • A Children’s Village filled with a carnival of rides and games, arts and crafts.
  • The Stage spotlighting performances and entertainment of various genres including fashion, dance, singing, poetry, gospel and more.
  • The Friday Night Drum Circle, which attracts music and dance enthusiasts of all ethnicities.
  • Multicultural vendors from across the country and parts of Africa showcasing food, exquisite art, music and culturally relevant specialty items.

For more information or to make a donation, visit JuneteenthFestivalOfTheCarolinas.com

***Editor's Note: This story has been updated as of 6/13 to indicate that the fee for Independence Park has been paid.

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