Juneteenth is an African-American festival celebrating the freedom, history, and culture of African Americans. It is considered the date when the last slaves in America were freed. Juneteenth, is the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery.
On June 19, 1865, two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, the slaves in Texas heard they were free. Many began to celebrate “Juneteenth” as a way to honor African-American history and culture. For African Americans and others, the Victory Visions Parade is a way to remember the struggles of those who blazed the path to change.
Syracuse began celebrating Juneteenth in 1988 with less than 50 people in attendance. Today, Syracuse is home to one of the largest Juneteenth festivals in the country maintaining the importance of culture and education within the festival elements. Juneteenth is a family-friendly celebration with activities and entertainment that appeal to all age groups.
There are many ways to support the 2011 Syracuse Juneteenth effort there’s Thursday, June 16th – Ancestral Dinner, Gospel, The Syracuse Juneteenth Golf Tournament at The Links of Erie Village, the Winston Gaskin Community Walk for Wellness, Mr. & Ms. Juneteenth Pageant in Jubilee Park , The Juneteenth Festival Health Pavilion, Victory Visions Parade and of course the main event on Saturday June 18th at Clinton Square.
Juneteenth has become a positive platform for encouraging acceptance of diversity and offers an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the sacrifices and challenges African Americans endured to achieve freedom. The Juneteenth Festival is free and open to the public.
Syracuse Juneteenth 2011 Calendar
Thursday, June 16th – Ancestral Dinner @ Atrium 6:30
Friday June 17, 2011 Flag Raising Ceremony
The Flag Raising Ceremony is scheduled for Friday, June 17th – Juneteenth Flag Raising 10:00 am at Syracuse City Hall. The public is welcome to come and celebrate the traditional start of the festival.
Gospel, Youth & Family Day
Spirit of Jubilee Park
Featuring music and church food vendors The Gospel Family and Youth Day is offered as a means to provide spiritual outreach to youth at risk of involvement in violence by involving the whole family in a variety of activities including speakers as well as cultural talent and spiritual music. The event will bring together many community partners to work in collaboration with the religious community.
The Syracuse Juneteenth Annual Golf Tournament
– Proceeds will benefit “Say Yes to Education” and the Syracuse Golf Association Junior Golfers”
– The event will last for two (2) days.
– The name of the Golf Course is ” The Links at Erie Village” – they are located at 5904 Burdick Street – East Syracuse, New York 13057.
The 1st date is Friday June 17, 2011- On this day there will be a team scramble (consisting of four players on each team. (You can sign up all four players for a team – or you can sign up as an Individual, twosome or threesome and the committee will assign additional members if needed to make a team.
– Registration for the “scramble” will began at 9:30 AM on Friday June 17, 2011.
– Cost per player is $80 dollars which includes:
Brunch / Lunch (starting at 10 AM), Golf Cart, Range Balls, Welcome package, chance to win an Automobile, Cocktail hour after play, Dinner, Prizes and Trophies
– This event will be a “Shotgun Start” beginning at 11:45 AM.
Registration for this medal play event will begin at 7AM on Saturday June 18, 2011.
– The 1st “Tee Time” will be at 8 AM and players will go off continuously.
– We will need a place on the form for “preferred tee times” (1st come 1st serve basis).
– Cost per player is $ 70 dollars which includes:
Continental Breakfast, starting at 7 AM, Golf Cart, Range Balls, Welcome Package, chance to win a Automobile, chance to win an expense paid trip to the Caribbean Islands, “Lunch at the turn”, Dinner, Prizes and Trophies.
Winston Gaskin Community Walk for Wellness will be held in Thornton Park
Dr. Winston Gaskin was the first African American pharmacist in Syracuse.
Fee: Please note that there is no fee for participating in the walk.
Saturday June 18, 2011 Juneteenth Festival
Noon Victory Visions Parade Starts from King School parking lot then down Salina Street to Clinton Square
The Juneteenth Festival is looking for people to volunteer at the festival. The following numbers are contacts for those wishing to donate their time.
Juneteenth Festival Board of Directors, President
Juneteeth Festival in charge of vendors
Log onto syracusejuneteenth.org or urbancny.com for additional information regarding Syracuse Juneteenth 2011 updates will be posted as more information becomes available.