The Juneteenth celebration continues today with a downtown parade, and other activities are scheduled throughout the weekend.
The parade will begin at 11 a.m. today, at the Brownwood Coliseum and follow the traditional parade route through downtown Brownwood. Draco Miller is this year’s grand marshal. Meosha Brooks, the Miss Juneteenth 2008 scholarship recipient, will also be featured.
Lineup for the parade is set to begin at 10 a.m. at the Brownwood Coliseum.
The steering committee continues to welcome participants for the parade. Though organizers did request anyone interested in participating in the parade make reservations, any person or group able to be at the coliseum at 10 a.m., who has horses, motorcycles, floats, antique vehicles or other parade units to ride are invited to take part. But also, spectators are invited to participate in the celebration and urged to “come and watch” the parade.
In Texas, June 19 is called the Juneteenth, and celebrated because it signifies freedom for the oppressed. It is the anniversary of the day in 1865 when Union Gen. Gordon Granger read the Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston, thus freeing of 250,000 slaves in Texas. President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation more than two years before, on Jan. 1, 1863.
Juneteenth events on Friday and Saturday will be located at Cecil Holman Park and the Bennie Houston Community Center. Booths will open at 1 p.m. Friday, and an area for children will be featured. An “Old School vs. New School” baseball game is set for 5:30 p.m., a free-throw contest is set from 6 to 7 p.m. and Slick in the Park will run from 6 p.m. to midnight.
On Saturday, booths, concessions and Kiddieland will open at 10 a.m., with free hot dogs offered children for lunch. Another baseball game is set for 5 p.m., and Victor Brown will provide a comedy hour at 8 p.m. James Butler and The Cool Show Band will perform from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. Butler played guitar for recording star Johnnie Taylor.
The local Juneteenth celebration has for a number of years been a fund-raising effort for the R.F. Hardin Museum, and approximately 100 diners enjoyed a soul food lunch Wednesday at the Bennie Houston Community Center. Anyone wishing to contribute to that fund may send a check or money order to the R.F. Hardin Museum, Inc.; P.O. Box 1968; Brownwood, TX 76804.
For information about this weekend’s events contact Michael Kelly, at 642-9017, LaSonya Hall at 998-0136, Harriett Wilson at 217-2790 or Carol Spratt at 642-0196.