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.