2013 Juneteenth Celebrations kick off with Youth Gospel Explosion

The 2013 Juneteenth Celebrations kicked off Saturday with the very first Juneteenth Youth Gospel Explosion.

â??We are trying to keep it alive because our children are losing now the reason of Juneteenth. Theyâ??re losing their pride that we all had as children coming up,â?? said Juneteenth Youth Gospel Explosion Chairlady, Klebird Heath. â??Theyâ??re losing that and so weâ??re trying to re-establish that with the children.â??

Juneteenth is known as the oldest celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Children from all over the area came together to showcase different talents. The night consisted of singing, dancing, poetry, drums and more. For those involved, they were excited to be a part of the celebration.

â??Itâ??s great to be a part of teaching how our heritage is because we started from slavery,â?? said dancer Sheila Rios. â??Itâ??s going to be neat to see how they lived in the old days and how far we have come.â??

â??Itâ??s exciting because weâ??ll be able to give back to the community,â?? said Tiffani Adcock.

Juneteenth Celebrations will continue for the next week:

Wednesday, June 19th - Juneteenth Bowl, Carver Academy, 1905 NW 12th Ave (6:30pm)

Thursday, June 20th - Mr. & Miss Juneteenth Pageant, 1905 NW 12th Ave (7:00pm)

Saturday, June 22nd - Juneteenth Parade (10:00am - 11:00am)

Saturday, June 22nd - Juneteenth Cook-out (11:30am - 2pm)

Saturday, June 22nd - Juneteenth Program & Activities (11:30pm - 4pm)

All Saturday events will be held at Bones Hook Park at 2000 N. Hughes.