Annual Juneteenth Celebration Planned for June 14-16

By: Public Relations and Marketing
Date Published: Wednesday, June 05, 2013

WATERLOO—The 18th Annual Juneteenth celebration is planned for June 14-16. The theme for this year’s event is “Unity in the Community.” Juneteenth celebrates the date that the last slaves in America were freed - June 19, thus the Emancipation Proclamation abolished slavery in America; and Juneteenth became a day for celebrating, with some states hosting week-long events. Various vendors and organizations will be set-up in Gates Park all three days.

Friday, June 14

  • Juneteenth will begin festivities in Waterloo with basketball from 5:00-9:00 p.m. at Gates Park. 
  • The Gospel Concert Celebration will be held at Mount Carmel Baptist Church at 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 15

  • The Basketball Championship games will be held at Gates Park at 8:00 a.m. 
  • The NAACP Peace Walk will take place from Union Baptist Church to Gates Park at 10:00 a.m. The Crusaders Drill team of Union Baptist Church will lead the way to Gates Park. This walk is open to all organizations, groups, and individuals. 
  • From 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. will be the free Health Fair at Gates Park.
  • From noon to 4:00 p.m. Shout Mo Records will provide the music and several gospel artists will perform at Gates Park. 
  • From 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. will be “Kids Corner” at Gates Park. “Kid’s Corner” will have various activities for the children such as tricycle races, bean bag toss, bounce houses, and coloring/painting, etc. 
  • Saturday’s celebration will conclude at Gates Park with a Custom Car/Motorcycle Show at Gates Park from 3:00-5:00 p.m. The car/motorcycle registration fee is $10. Trophies will be awarded to first, second, and third place winners. 
  • “A Night Out” will take place at the River Loop Amphitheatre, located at 225 Commercial Street from 4:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Sunday, June 16

  • Juneteenth Sunday Service will be at Payne AME Church at 10:00 a.m.
  • The female sporting events will take place at Gates Park and will begin with basketball at 3:00 p.m., and football at 6:00 p.m. 
  • Lenny Senter will present, “Ole Skool Music in the Park” at Gates Park from 2:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Warren Wortham, manager of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center of Hawkeye Community College stated, “We celebrate Juneteenth as a community to honor the struggles of African-Americans and their contributions to our society, while encouraging self-development and respect for all cultures. Juneteenth has come to symbolize for many African-Americans what the fourth of July symbolizes for all Americans - Freedom.”

For more information on the Juneteenth events, please contact LaTanya Graves at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center at 296-4440.