Central Texas Juneteenth Celebrations

Posted at 6:58 PM, Jun 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-18 21:00:40-04

Organizers of the Waco Juneteenth Family Fun Festival kicked off what they called the largest celebration in the area.

The festival, held at East Brazos Park, is estimated to bring in thousands of attendees. Organizers of the event hoped to utilize the celebration to educate the community on several issues.

The performance stage was lined with t-shirts from the Clothesline Project, a visual provided by sexual assault and domestic violence survivors. Gospel Singer, Diadem Shavonne Na'tey, performed a rendition of Lady Gaga's, "Until It Happens To You," a song focused on the victims of violence.  The group Get Out, Get Loud encouraged the crowd to be vocal and vigilant in situations of domestic abuse or sexual assault.

One of the festival's organizers, Sophia Strother, said this year they went with a more strategic focus, in order to have the greatest community impact. 

"We wanted to make sure we brought up the Get Out, Get Loud program.With Juneteenth I feel like it's an obligation and a responsibility of ours between civic and social issues that we use this platform to bring awareness," Strother said. 

The festival has grown in size with more activities for kids as well as more vendors adding 15 more booths. Will Wardsworth owner of W&W Novelty has been a vendor at the festival for several years. Wardsworth says he enjoys seeing families come together.

"We just have a beautiful time, a meeting of the families, just spending one day together as one. How about that just, 20,30,40 families get together and spend one day as one wouldn't that be nice?" Wardsworth asked.

This year's festival was free for the first time. Organizers had over 50 volunteers working on the project for the past year. The festival also received support from the City of Lacy-Lakeview and the City of Waco. 

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 

Juneteenth Celebration Commanche Crossing-Booker T Washington Park


Junteenth Carnival Dewey Recreation Center 925 N 19th St 10 am to 3pm


Juneteenth Parade

-The parade will start at 10 a.m. beginning at the Historic Paul Quinn Campus preceding down Elm Avenue, cross the Washington Street Bridge, turning left on University Parks Drive, and Left on Franklin Ave/Taylor Street.

Family Fun Festival at Brazos Park East- Free admission $5 Parking

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