KLEK is hosting its 2nd annual Juneteenth in Jonesboro Celebration on Saturday, June 15. This year’s celebration will take place at the Parker Park Community Center at 1506 N. Church St. from 10 AM to 2 PM. At the celebration, Harold Perrin, City of Jonesboro Mayor, is also expected to make a special presentation.
Juneteenth, or Freedom Day, is a national holiday that celebrates the final day African-Americans were enslaved thanks to President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, according to Juneteenth.com. The theme for KLEK’s Jonesboro Juneteenth celebration this year is “Fulfilling the Dreams of Our Ancestors”. What makes this event different is that it is a cultural celebration to not only create a fellowship and bonding experience within the Black community, but for the community as a whole to become aware of another culture and the importance of this celebration.
“This year’s theme was inspired by research of life for the freed slaves after the Civil War, the challenges our ancestors faced just to maintain some resemblance of a successful life,” said Qubilah Jones, Community Liaison for KLEK. “I want the attendees to leave with a renewed sense of self and pride in where they came from.”
Several speakers from the city of Jonesboro, Arkansas State University, and the community will discuss how the theme resonates in their department. The event will also feature musical and dance performances from local artists, as well as activities for the entire family to enjoy.
Locally-owned JacksonInk has also designed T-shirts for the event, in which a portion of the proceeds goes to support KLEK. Prices for the shirts range from $20-23 and must be paid in advance. Local community organizations will also be providing free information to the public and other local vendors will be at the event to sell products. Any other vendor who wants to reserve a spot at the event can go to KLEKfm.org/juneteenth-2019-vendor-registration/ and register. It’s $50 to reserve a table to sell products and $25 to just reserve a table.
Also, this year is the first time there will be a Bar-B-Q cooking contest and a Sweet Potato Pie baking contest. The Sweet Potato Pie contest entry fee is $10 for 1 pie and $20 for 2 to 5 pies. The Bar-B-Q cooking contest’s registration is $75 and it’s only for wood and charcoal grills. Set up is at 6 am on June 15. Full contest rules and details are at KLEKfm.org. The deadline for entering in contests and to reserve a table is June 1. The Juneteenth celebration is free and open to the public.