African Heritage Inc will host the ninth annual Juneteenth celebration on Sunday, June 9 at City Park in downtown Appleton.
The annual celebration commemorates the day in June, 1865, that enslaved people in the American south learned that they’d been freed.
“We’re just asking folks to come and let’s all fellowship with each other in the spirit of freedom for black folks and African Americans,” says organizer Dr. Bola Delano-Oriaran.
The festival will run from noon to 6 pm and is free and open to the public. There will be performances, food and especially fun for kids.
“In the Children’s Village, we have individuals who are going to be reading books about freedom for African Americans,” Delano-Oriaran says. “In addition, our goal is to engage our children and children from multicultural backgrounds to interact with each other on a positive level. We also have a few games, like jump rope, that are a reflection of African American culture, that children would also have the opportunity to play.”
A range of performance groups from Chicago Stacy Latrice, Aniba Hotep & the Sol Collective and Creative Footwork, along with local talent Keith Brown (better known as Mr. I’m Possible) and DJ Afrekete will also perform.
Many ethnic food options will also be available, including Caribbean fare, Hmong American cuisine, tacos and soul food.
Most of all, though, it’s about celebrating African American freedom and culture with the community.
“We are delighted at the support of the community,” Delano-Oriaran says. “And we are just appreciative that not only our state, but our nation is becoming more and more aware of our history as a race. And that we are extremely appreciative that individuals are becoming more and more knowledgeable about our history and that, on one hand, society says we do have freedom, but on the other hand, we still have far to go as a nation, as related to African Americans.
“We are just asking folks to come and let’s all fellowship with each other in the spirit of freedom for black folks and African Americans,” she says.