New Juneteenth Family Festival set for San Antonio area

The Juneteenth Family Festival offers a new venue to honor the 157th year anniversary of the day an estimated 250,000 enslaved African Americans in Texas learned they were free. June 19, 1865, known as Juneteenth, is the day Union Army Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived at Galveston and announced the Civil War was over and President Abraham Lincoln had abolished slavery two years earlier.

In 2021, President Biden signed a bill that made Juneteenth a federal holiday. City of San Antonio and Bexar County offices will be closed June 20 in observance of the day also referred to as Emancipation Day.

The family festival will take place June 18, from 8 am to 10 pm, at the Real Life Amphitheater, 16765 Lookout Road in Selma. Event organizer Danielle Gulley said this is the first year for the festival.

“It is a day we can all celebrate freedom,” Gulley said. “If you have an appreciation for humanity, it’s an opportunity to reflect on where you come from and where you’re going. We’re excited about being able to have an event that is inclusive of everybody. “

The festival’s slogan “Mind, body and soul,” reflects activities planned that day. A 5K walk / run will kick off at 8:30 am with a $ 30 entrance fee that includes a shirt, water and number. That will be followed by a Juneteenth award ceremony which will recognize eight people, nominated by peers, for their community work.

At noon, the carnival will open, featuring a Ferris wheel and family activities. A carnival fun day pass is 30. During the afternoon, a series of symposiums are scheduled that focus on marriage, singles and veterans. A health fair will offer free high blood pressure and sickle cell anemia screenings and a blood drive.

The festival will end with a concert featuring national recording artists Tim Bowman, Fred Hammond, Erica Campbell and Mali Music. Concert tickets start at $ 20.

In a promotional video, Hammond said people can dance, do what they need to do and get free of emotional, health, and financial chains “throughout our lives.”

“There are chains that keep us bound, but that evening the chains start to come loose,” Hammond said. “That’s what Juneteenth is about, that’s what this festival is about. Taking the chains off the way we think. “

Gulley said portions of the festival will be televised by festival partner Impact Network for viewing on Spectrum channel 474 and Impact.com.

For more information, go to www.daniellegulley.com.

Several other celebrations are scheduled for the Juneteenth weekend. The 2022 Juneteenth Festival will take place June 17-June 19 at Comanche Park No. 2, 2600 Rigsby Ave. Admission is free. Activities include children’s activities, a Friday Fish Fry, gospel groups and vendor booths. Entertainment includes Ruben V, Young James Brown and the P-Funk Outlaws. On Sunday, Church in the Park will feature Mama Dee and Gary Givens.

The San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum will sponsor the Juneteenth History Harvest on June 17 from 11 am to 7 pm at Comanche Park, 2600 Rigsby Ave. Participants can scan or donate church annual programs, obituaries, newspaper clippings and photos for the nonprofit’s digital archive at Texas A&M San Antonio. For more information email archivist@saaacam.org or call 210-724-3350.

On June 18, the nonprofit and the Texas Kidney Foundation will sponsor the Juneteenth Night @ Missions Fundraiser at Nelson Wolff Stadium, 5757 US-90West. The game will start at 7 pm The San Antonio Missions will play the Amarillo Sod Poodles. The game will celebrate African American players contributions to baseball. Tickets are $ 75. Proceeds will benefit TKF and SAAACAM.

The SA Block Party / Fair will also take place on June 18 from 3 to 9:30 pm, at the Alamo Beer Company, 202 Lamar. Sponsored by Dream Big Scholarship Fund Inc., the fair will feature live music, vendors, and kids play area. The event is free; tickets must be reserved.

vtdavis@express-news.n

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