Juneteenth Committee shares event schedule
By Cris Cawthon
The Juneteenth committee members met to discuss this year’s event that will take place on June 19 at Laura Leak Park from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
This year’s theme is “Throwback 90’s” and the committee encourages those who would like to participate in a chance to win a $50 gift value for the best dressed 90’s outfit. If you love to dance bring those moves to the Backyard BBQ and enter the dance contest. Value for two best dancers will be $25 each.
Committee members Malaya Downey and mother Marla Webster are representatives of the community, along with Carleka Spann, Gayla Harting, and Calvin Lawson, who oversees parks and recreation. The committee would not only like for the community to come out and enjoy a fun filled event, they also have a mission to bring unity and share in a celebration that is for all Americans.
Juneteenth (June 19) was the Emancipation Proclamation version for the enslaved Texans who had just learned of their freedom in 1865, years after the original Emancipation Proclamation which really freed them in 1863. On January 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln’s final draft of the Emancipation Proc-lamation read, “I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.”
The schedule of events for this year’s Junteenth includes a Keith Driscoll boxing performance, and Heather and Annette Zumba. Gus Moss will have a basketball scrimmage and talk about Moss Elite. Pastor Isaac Parker from 2nd Missionary Baptist Church will offer a community prayer; Marylin Williams will give the history of Juneteenth; D’Aaron Owens will talk about Jets basketball and how he’s overcome many struggles in his life; Rashad Seaton, a former Mt. Vernon High School educator, now author, will share about his book; and a host of other speakers will be present. There will be a car show, craft and dessert vendors, a photographer offering a free family photo, a cake walk, and a good deed award for kids helping throughout the day. Also, first responders will be in attendance to talk about their daily jobs and give kids a hands-on experience on how their service vehicles work. There will be information booths set up and The United Community Clubhouse will have fried fish and bbq pork.
If you cannot attend this event but would like to contribute, your donations can be sent via Venmo/LayaD, Cash App/$LayaD or paypal/@CentraliaPride.
Pictured (L to R) are committee members Calvin Lawson, Carleka Spann, Marla Webster, Malaya Downey and Gayla Harting.