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Juneteenth festival rolling along 20 years later

Juneteenth-600Anchored in historic Douglass Park in North Memphis, the Juneteenth Freedom & Heritage Festival will mark its 20th anniversary June 14-16.

The three-day festival – always jam-packed with activities for the entire family – will be preceded on June 13 by the Juneteenth Freedom & Heritage Gala at First Baptist Church-Broad Event Center, 2835 Broad Ave.

Former Mayor and City Schools Supt. Dr. Willie W. Herenton – now a major player in the charter school movement – will keynote the gala, which will honor several Memphians for their contribution and commitment to the African-American community. The gala is set for 7 p.m.

WillieHerenton-400"Dr. Herenton's stellar career in politics and education is a testament to his commitment and contributions to the African-American community," said Telisa Franklin, Juneteenth's executive director. "We look forward to the keynote address by the former mayor of Memphis."

The Juneteenth Freedom & Heritage Festival starts at 10 a.m. Friday, June 14, with a stage play called "The Step Show." Other activities are scheduled throughout the day.

On Saturday, June 15, look for the Car and Bike Show exhibit, performances by elementary, high school and adult majorettes, Sassy Seniors, and more than 150 cyclists who will be Cruzin for St. Jude Children Research Hospital. They will leave from Whitehaven and arrive at Douglass Park at noon.

TELISA-FRANKLIN-400Also on June 15, there will be a literacy walk and a group exercise workout for fitness devotees. The entertainment lineup will include the R & B group Karma, which will take the stage at 6 p.m., followed by Southern Soul's national recording artist Terry Wright at 7 p.m.

The "Praise in the Park" gospel lineup on Sunday, June 16 will feature the celestial choir and praise team from the Rev. Robert C. Jones Jr.'s Keel Avenue Baptist Church.

Food and beverages are staples at the three-day festival, with located throughout the park,

Gala tickets are available now by calling 901-324-5945.

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