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In the News

Juneteenth kicks off in El Dorado

Monday, June 19, 2017

Published by El Dorado News Times

By Tia Lyons Staff Writer

EL DORADO — Today marks the official commemoration for Juneteenth, and the celebration will continue this weekend in El Dorado.

The 7th annual Juneteenth Festival is set for noon until 8 p.m. on Saturday at Mattocks Park. The event is free and open to the public.

Presented by the Benito Glosson Foundation, the Juneteenth Festival will include music, live entertainment, a DJ, vendors, community booths, and children’s games and activities, including a bounce house.

Glosson said the festival will also feature a wide variety of music, including R&B, gospel, and blues.

Rain has dampened the event for the past two years, but it didn’t dampen the spirits of attendees, Glosson said.

The festival averages 1,500 — 2,000 people each year. Numbers were down significantly in 2105 due to inclement weather, and last year, just under 1,500 people were said to have attended.

Though rain is in the forecast for Saturday, Glosson said he is hoping it won’t halt the festival or foot traffic.

Per usual, the festival will include educational components to honor the meaning of Juneteenth,a holiday that commemorates June 19, 1865, when news of the abolition of slavery reached Texas, nearly two and half years after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect.

Juneteenth, is also known as “Freedom Day” and “Emancipation Day”, is recognized as a state holiday or day of observance by a majority of states in the U.S., including Arkansas.

“This is a great part of American history that will never be forgotten. We express our knowledge of our history every year to the youth, as well as the elders,” Glosson said.

He encouraged the entire community to attend the Juneteenth Festival.

“It’s a family-friendly event for all ages, so come on out for a great experience of life and fun,” he said.

For more information, call Glosson at 870-866-7763.

Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or by email at tlyons@ eldoradonews.com.