Juneteenth celebrations planned for Twin Ports and beyond

Juneteenth celebrations planned for Twin Ports and beyond
Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 8:06 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 6, 2022 at 8:08 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (KBJR) - Juneteenth is now officially recognized as a federal holiday.

Celebrations around the Northland may be bigger than ever this year.

Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.

The official date of the holiday is June 19th and the name ‘Juneteenth’ comes from a combination of those two words.

In the Twin Ports, the party starts a few days earlier.

On June 16th at Duluth City Hall, there will be a Mayoral proclamation to commemorate the day.

Several non-profit organizations including the NAACP are helping to organize events.

On Friday, June 17th, organizers will hold a special luncheon to honor elder members of the African heritage community and their contributions.

Then over the weekend, the larger festivities begin.

The first is June 18th in Superior at Barker’s Island for a celebration organized by ‘Twin Ports Juneteenth.’

Then on Sunday, June 19th, the NAACP will hold their ‘Juneteenth Jubilee’ in Central Hillside.

According to organizer Henry Banks, the events are not just for people of African heritage, but for everyone to come together and learn.

“It’s about celebrating each other, regardless of who you are. It’s a family event, with family activities for all families. For all people in our community and our region,” said Henry Banks, an organizer with the NAACP, and Coordinator of the Juneteenth Jubilee.

According to Banks, many events will have free food, music, and entertainment.

There will also be vendors, showcasing some black-owned businesses in the Twin Ports.

This year, Juneteenth celebrations in our region are expanding to other towns.

An organization called Voices for Ethnic and Multi-Cultural Awareness, or VEMA, has activities planned on June 19th in Grand Rapids.

According to organizers, there have been Juneteenth celebrations in Duluth for almost 20 years.

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