JAMESTOWN – A Jamestown City Councilmember says the 2021 Juneteenth Festival will serve as a celebration of freedom and equality for members of the African American community.
Councilwoman Regina Brackman, who is one of the festival organizers, announced during a press conference Thursday evening that the Festival will be held on June 19 and 20 at Taylor-Jackson Park on Washington Street.
Brackman says that Juneteenth is meant to celebrate the freedom and equality of African Americans. She explains, however, that the celebration isn’t limited to just African Americans.
“We welcome all. This is not just an African American, black event,” Brackman said. “Juneteenth is open for everybody. We will welcome anyone to the table regardless of their race, as long as they come and they are willing to do the work. We are willing to have them as part of our process. It’s open to everyone.”
The Ward IV representative says there will be an opening ceremony on the first day at 11 a.m. at the nature trail park as festival organizers will be planting two trees in honor of the late Vickye James, who served on the City Council prior to her death earlier this year.
“Sister Vickeye carried this festival for 20 years,” Brackman said.
Additionally, numerous activities such as basketball, carnival games, face painting and more will be held. There will also be a concession stand.
On the 20th, a continental breakfast will be held at 8:30 a.m. prior to a worship service in the park at 9 a.m. At 3 p.m., there will be a gospel concert. At that time, Brackman says a scholarship will be presented to a high school senior who will be attending college.
The Scholarship, labeled the Vickye James Memorial Scholarship, will include all of the proceeds from the festival’s concession stand.
Members of the Council officially approved the Juneteenth Festival during its Work Session Monday evening but, based on the members’ dialogue, the support extends beyond a permit approval.
“Juneteenth has been part of this city for the past 20 years,” Brackman said. “It’s great that they all recognize the efforts in why we are doing this. They’ve done things that have made it possible for us to put on this event.”
Brackman says there isn’t a set end time, and she’s hoping that there will be nice weather. There are no COVID-19 restrictions, according to Brackman, but she encourages people to be safe and smart.