Yuma Sun - - DESERT LIFE -

Bar­ron’s speech is one part of a pro­gram that will also in­clude live mu­sic, danc­ing, a three-on­three bas­ket­ball tour­na­ment and wa­ter­melon eat­ing con­test. Kids’ en­ter­tain­ment in­cludes face paint­ing, crafts and games.

And ven­dors will be on hand to serve food, in­clud­ing bar­be­cue, fish, fry bread and ice cream.

“We will have a lot of ac­tiv­i­ties, and we have tons of prizes that have been do­nated and will be given away,” said Bar­bara Rochester, com­mu­nity af­fairs di­rec­tor for Crossroads Mis­sion.

The mis­sion is part­ner­ing with the NAACP’s Yuma Chap­ter in or­ga­niz­ing the June­teenth cel­e­bra­tion, which com­mem­o­rates the eman­ci­pa­tion of slaves in Texas fol­low­ing the Civil War, is hosted by the NAACP’s Yuma chap­ter and Crossroads Mis­sion.

Af­ter be­ing held last year in Down­town Yuma, June­teenth is re­turn­ing Satur­day to its tra­di­tional venue at Carver Park, 5th Street and 13th Av­enue, where events will place from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Ad­mis­sion is free and open to the pub­lic.

The cel­e­bra­tion will open with a prayer of­fered by Pas­tor Gre­gory Greene of Yuma’s Rose of Sharon Church. And as in years past, the church’s choir and vo­cal­ist Van Hub­bard will per­form Satur­day.

Also per­form­ing Satur­day will be riseNshine, an reg­gae band de­scribed by its founder, Ras­ta­man Rob, as an off­shoot of the long­time Yuma group Up­root.

“Bring your lawn chairs and bring your danc­ing shoes,” Ras­ta­man Rob said.

For the three-on-three tour­na­ment, teams will be formed by age groups at the cel­e­bra­tion, said Norma Nel­son, pres­i­dent of the Yuma NAACP chap­ter.

Non-profit groups will also set up booths where they will hand in­for­ma­tion about health, well­ness and other top­ics of in­ter­est to the pub­lic.

June­teenth — also some­times called June­teenth In­de­pen­dence Day or Free­dom Day — com­mem­o­rates the lib­er­ta­tion of slaves in Texas on June 19, 1865. While slav­ery had been out­lawed in Pres­i­dent Abra­ham Lin­coln’s Eman­ci­pa­tion Procla­ma­tion of 1863, his ex­ec­u­tive order couldn’t be en­forced in that state un­til 2-1/2 years later, when Union troops landed at Galve­ston at the end of the Civil War.


SINGER BONO OF U2 PER­FORMS DUR­ING A CON­CERT at the Apollo The­ater hosted by Sir­iusXM on Mon­day in New York.

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