Date: June 3, 2022
The Family Day in the Park recognizes one of the oldest African American recognized celebrations that mark the end of slavery in the United States
The Dunbar Festival Committee and the Lee County Black History Society are partnering to host its 10th Annual Juneteenth Community Celebration at Roberto Clemente Park in Fort Myers from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 18.
This years’ Juneteenth Celebration will be filled with a variety of fun and entertainment for the entire family, including stage performances, music, arts and crafts, food and refreshments. Event attendees will also have an opportunity to receive free information from community businesses in the areas of wealth, health, education, job training, employment, housing, corporate and governmental services and more.
“Juneteenth is a family-oriented celebration that focuses on community as well as recounting the stories of the past,” said Charles Barnes, chairperson of the Lee County Black History Society. “Juneteenth celebrations strive to acknowledge the wrongs that were committed by slavery and help to raise the descendants up by concentrating on education and personal achievements.”
Juneteenth, which has been celebrated since the late 1800s was finally recognized as a federal holiday in 2021. A special historical exhibit about Florida’s Emancipation Day May 20 and Juneteenth will be available at Williams Academy Black History Museum at Clemente Park at the festival and through the end of June.
Juneteenth is always observed on or around June 19, the day that slaves in Galveston, Texas, learned that they had been freed, more than two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger landed in Galveston and read General Order Number 3 to the people. Celebrations started in the following years as a way for former slaves to reconnect and recount the day their freedom was announced. Many of the first Juneteenth celebrations were held on the grounds of African American churches and eventually became more elaborate with rodeos, picnics, barbecues, fishing trips and family reunions.
For more information on participating as a performer, contact Kimberly Thomas, 239-878-3946; Tonya Cola, 239-823-2153, or Vonda Curry, 239-634-7110 of the Dunbar Festival Committee. Interested vendors can register through the Dunbar Festival Committee’s Facebook page.
This news release was featured in The News Press Local Events section in June 2022.