ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – A weekend of celebration and collaboration is set for Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19 in Rockford.
Rockford community leaders are joining forces for a weekend of events for families to enjoy at Sinnissippi Park. Juneteenth, also known as Liberation Day, is a holiday celebrating the emancipation of African Americans enslaved in the United States.
“We are excited to extend this year’s celebration due to more collaboration and unique new elements for this important and historic moment in our nation’s history,” said Tommy Meeks, Founder of the organization Juneteenth1865.
A special highlight for the event includes community awards:
- Impactor Award
- Juneteenth Advocate of the Year
- Unsung Hero
- Entrepreneur of the Year
- Faith-Based Leader of the Year.
Winners will be announced during the festivities.
“This weekend will be packed with family-fun, live performances, special Juneteenth community awards, chances to shop with minority-owned businesses, and conversations important to our community, all while learning the history of Juneteenth. We invite people of all backgrounds to join us,” said Meeks
Small businesses and organizations are invited to sign up as a food vendor, retail vendor or to set up an information booth. Through a partnership with Think Big, both days will provide opportunities to shop with and support minority-owned businesses in the area.
Booth applications and awards nominations are open until Monday, June 6.
A packed schedule Saturday includes a community family reunion with live music by Groove Hotel, Juneteenth Princess and Queen Pageant, youth activities with the Rockford Park District and Community Chautauqua Conversations.
Sunday hosts a community church service with Pastor Alexander of Hope Fellowship Church of Rockford & Pastor Copeland of New Zion Baptist Church, the All Black Graduation, and a special Sunday’s Best Gospel Themed Talent Show Competition with Harlan Jefferson.
For more information on how to nominate a local community member or to become a vendor, visit Juneteenth1865.com
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