The Lawrence, Kansas Juneteenth Organization will hold a big downtown parade and celebration on Saturday, and plenty of events are planned for Thursday through Sunday.
“We have a fun-filled half a week of events that we’d like to share with you all,” Janine Colter, president of the organization, told the Douglas County commissioners at their meeting Wednesday. “… We hope everyone tries to come and attend. It will be an educational, fun event.”
Here’s what’s coming up.
Thursday, June 16:
• Noon to 1 p.m.: The League of Women Voters of Lawrence/Douglas County’s monthly Hot Topic will feature Dr. Kim Warren and Deborah L. Dandridge in conversation discussing “Juneteenth, Independence and the Nation: Then and Now.” Join the meeting via Zoom at this link.
Friday, June 17:
• 7 p.m.: A Community Gospel Choir will perform at Victory Bible Church, 1942 Massachusetts St.
Saturday, June 18:
• 11 a.m.: A parade will start at Seventh and Massachusetts streets and head south.
• Noon to 8 p.m.: South Park will come alive with music, food, many local vendors and artisans, social service and health booths, all surrounding oral history videos, speakers, an Underground Railroad tour, and readings by Juneteenth essay contest winners, according to an event flyer.
Food vendors slated to be there include Distinguished Brothers Catfish & Wings, Georgie’s Lemonade, Icy Cool Treats, Lowery’s BBQ & Caribbean Cuisine and Swahili Kitchen. You can also buy a Juneteenth 2022 T-shirt.
A Kids Corner will feature Black history games, puzzles, crafts, face painting and more. (Bonus: Kids eat for free.)
• 7:30 p.m.: Theater, live music and video projections will convey the power of forgiveness, healing, love and freedom in “Love Does: A Celebration of Juneteenth.” Written and directed by Rita Rials, the free multimedia event features local artists and community members voicing hope and a vision for true freedom while they highlight the resiliency, history and culture of African American people.
The event is free and open to the public in the main auditorium at the Lied Center, 1600 Stewart Drive. No ticket or advance reservations are required.
Sunday, June 19:
• 3 to 5 p.m.: A walking tour at Maple Grove Cemetery will highlight key historic figures.
• 7 p.m.: A Virtual Showcase will celebrate five years since the 2017 founding of BLACK Lawrence (Black Literature & Arts Collective of Kansas, Lawrence). The event will feature local poets as well as others from across the country. Join the Zoom meeting at this link and follow BLACK Lawrence on Facebook and Instagram for more information.
Organizers were still looking for volunteers, according to a Facebook post earlier this week. Volunteer signups are available at this link.
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More coverage — Juneteenth 2022:
”This year’s celebration of Juneteenth, we hosted the largest gathering of community members and vendors than ever before. None of that would have been possible without the help and support given to us by these special community partners,” the Lawrence, Kansas Juneteenth Organization writes.