GREENSBORO, N.C. — Juneteenth celebrations in Greensboro start Thursday.
This is the city's second year commemorating the holiday and organizers of the 2022 Juneteenth GSO Fest are doing it big with four days filled with events celebrating Black culture.
"We as a city love Black excellence," said Lavinia Jackson, one of the organizers for Juneteenth GSO Fest. "It's just that we don't get a chance to see it. This gives everybody a chance to see that we are not a monolith. We contribute to this city and sustain this city in a myriad of ways and we definitely have the kind of economic impact that makes this kind of event sustainable long term," Jackson said.
Juneteenth was first honored in Greensboro on June 19, 1996, with a citywide festival.
Years later, Councilwoman Sharon Hightower and community activist April Parker pushed for Juneteenth to become a city holiday. The City Council officially declared June 19 a day of remembrance and celebration in 2021.
Highlights of Greensboro's 2022 Juneteenth celebration include:
-Sistah's of Juneteenth: Thursday, June 16 at 8 pm in the Van Dyke Performance Space.
-The Arts Legacy Awards Celebrating Black artistry in Greensboro: Friday, June 17 at 6 pm in the Van Dyke Performance Space
-Uptown Fresh Sneaker Ball: Friday, June 17 at 8 pm Khalif Event Center
-Juneteenth Mural Concert: Repainting the Black Lives Matter Mural Saturday, June 18 starting at 6 am
-Black Food Truck Festival: Saturday, June 18 from 5 pm until 10 pm in LeBauer Park
-Juneteenth Gospel Superfest: Sunday, June 19 from 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm at the Barber Park Amphitheater
Organizers say every event is an opportunity for the community to come together.
"Black culture is American culture," said organizer Princess Johnson. "It's an important part of our community. Just as you would go to a festival for something that's Latin or Native American, we should be uplifted and supported in those same ways without people questioning it or making racially-biased decisions about it. Just come out and enjoy and be part of the celebration."
You can find the full lineup of events here.