Juneteenth has been a celebration of freedom throughout the United States for over 150 years. In Kentucky, there are a handful of towns that still celebrate it. A determined group of Owensboro women knew it was time the community celebrated and embraced the richness of African American history.
The second annual Juneteenth Celebration will take place on June 22 from 4-10pm at Kendall-Perkins Park in Owensboro.
“It’s important we celebrate this event because the fight of our ancestors, the determination, and the hope they had for their children and children’s children,” said Owensboro Black Expo Board President Dominique Maddox. “We must teach our youth how important and significant Juneteenth is. This is a celebration for us — our Freedom Day. We have to keep the tradition going forward and show that we are unified together.”
In anticipation of the event at Kendall-Perkins Park, West Fifth Street will be closed from Orchard to Maple Streets.
During each hour of the celebration, there will be a series of performances by musical acts from Owensboro, Evansville, Madisonville, Bowling Green, and Hopkinsville. There will also be dance performances, a fashion show, poetry reading and, to round out the event, attendees will learn historical facts about Juneteenth.
There will also be a variety of food truck options from around the area and as far away as Chicago. Options include J’s Good Grub, Roll Tide Bar-B-Q, Big John’z BBQ, Nina’s Snack Shack and Taqueria La Bendicion De Dios food truck.
Several vendors will also be in attendance, including Taylor Hinton, a young African American female author of two books, T’s Accessories and Beads, Paparazzi Jewelry, Akoma Novelties and Books, and many others from surrounding counties.
Exhibitors from Owensboro Human Relations, Non-Violent Owensboro, Oasis, Matthew 25, Alorica and the Kentucky Cancer Program will be on hand providing community resources to attendees.
The ladies said they are always looking for young, motivated people to join the board.