CLINTON — Clinton’s ninth annual Juneteenth celebration on Friday will focus on family fun, unity, freedom and history.
Each year, the Juneteenth celebration is held to remember that on June 19, 1865, the Union enforced the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all of the remaining slaves in Texas. Organizer Tiffany Harris said the local Juneteenth event, held a few days early to coincide with the weekend, is a time to make the community aware of different cultures.
“Each year we need to celebrate this huge milestone in our country,” Harris said. “Basically a time to remember.”
Held at the Riverview Park, the event will offer activities from 12:30 p.m. until well after 8:45 p.m. Area day camps and day cares will attend between 12:30 and 3 p.m. As the day progresses, families can visit food and vendor booths, participate in dessert and barbecue cooking contests, visit the petting zoo and play games.
For the first year, Harris said the celebration is focusing even more on family activities, with a Family Field Day Contest beginning at 6:25 p.m. and registration at 5:30 p.m. The event is geared to any type of family unit and will feature three-legged races, sack races and other fitness games.
“Something fun and something new to feature families,” Harris said. “Whatever you define your family as.”
The celebration also will hold a version of the television competition “The Voice” at 7:15 p.m. Anyone wanting to show off their singing voices can register by 6 p.m. to compete.
The night will end with a special showing of Disney’s “Frozen.” Those interested in watching the outdoor movie are encouraged to bring their own chairs or blankets.
For the first time, however, Clinton’s Juneteenth celebration will not end Friday night. Instead, Harris and others are planning a three-on-three basketball tournament in Clinton Park on Saturday. The cost to participate is $40 per team for ages 12 to 15 and 16 to 18. Teams of individuals 19 and older cost $80.
“So if you got what it takes to play basketball, come on down,” Harris said.
For more information on the celebration, contact Harris at 243-2124 or at tiffanyharris.asac.us.