Church plans Juneteenth celebration

Jun. 05, 2014 @ 04:04 PM

On June 14, Elizabeth Missionary Baptist Church will host a Juneteenth celebration at Belk Tonawanda Park in Monroe.

The event will begin at 11 a.m. and run until 8 p.m.

It will feature, live music, rides, games, food and other activities, Beverley Supria, a coordinator for the event, said.

Juneteenth falls every year on June 19 and commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. It refers to June 19, 1865 when Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed in Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. This news came two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln's signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, according to Juneteenth.com.

"It's well in order, it's a lot of entertainment, a lot of gospel singers will be there," Beverley Supria, a member of Elizabeth Missionary Baptist Church and an organizer of the Juneteenth event, said.

The event will also feature both American and Caribbean foods as well as vendors, rides and bounce houses. It is free to the public and anyone interested is encouraged to attend. Mayor Bobby Kilgore of Monroe is planned to attend the event and say a few words during the opening ceremony at 11 a.m. and Osco F. Gardin, Jr., senior pastor of Elizabeth Missionary Baptist Church, will also speak during the ceremony, she said.

"We just want to bring all the community together," Supria said in reference to why the church is choosing to host the event.

The June 14 event will be the first Juneteenth celebration the church has hosted, she said.

Juneteenth celebrations are held annually both nationally and worldwide.

Though the June 14 event is free for the public to attend, members of Elizabeth Missionary Baptist Church are looking for interested vendors and sponsors to help with the event.

For more information about becoming a vendor or a sponsor for the Juneteenth event contact Supria by calling 704-756-6653 or call 704-283-6342.