By AZI Staff Writer
Phoenix – On Saturday, June 17 the Valley of the Sun Juneteenth Celebration will be held at Eastlake Park, 1549 E Jefferson Street in Phoenix. The celebration begins at 4 p.m. and will continue until 9:00.This year’s event, hosted by the Arizona Informant, will include a special ceremony to recognize that Juneteenth is now an official recognized “day of observance” in the entire state of Arizona.
This year’s celebration highlights include an all-day stage program hosted by emcee Camille Sledge. In addition, there will be vendors, community information booths, a children’s zone, town hall, workshops and the basketball tournament. A key component of the festival is the indoors health wellness pavilion with free on-site health screenings.
Other Valley of the Sun Juneteenth-related events that were already held or are going on this week includes The Juneteenth basketball tournament at Phoenix Eastlake Park at which 10 men’s teams competed in a double elimination tournament.
On Wednesday, June 14 is “Mississippi Journey: Three Life Experiences of Arizona Residents Living In The South. There is also the screening of the Tupac Shakur biopic “All Eyez On Me” on Thursday, June 15.
Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19 that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with the news that the war had ended and the enslaved were now free.
The Juneteenth Festival would not be possible if not for the generous support of numerous sponsors. This year’s sponsors include Wells Fargo, AARP, Arizona Public Service (APS), COX Communications, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Fry’s Food Stores, Salt River Project (SRP), Al Heggs Auto Group, and City of Phoenix Parks & Recreation. This family-friendly event is for all ages. The celebration is free and open to the public. For more information call 602-688-9906 or visit phxjuneteenth.com