The 17th annual Northwest Arkansas Juneteenth celebration was on Saturday (June 14) at Murphy’s Park in Springdale.
The theme for this year’s event was “Black is Beautiful, Black is Healthy.” The event included a health fair with medical and dental providers conducting free screenings to promote healthy living. There was also live music, a cookout and other fun activities for all ages.
Juneteenth, or the “19th of June,” commemorates the anniversary of African American emancipation, 149 years ago this year. Organizers said it’s the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.
“Juneteenth is a commemorative moment,” said Staci Brooks, a performer at Juneteenth. “I’m having an absolute blast.”
In 2006, the Arkansas Legislature first recognized Juneteenth as a state memorial day commemorated by a proclamation from Gov. Mike Huckabee.