A long-standing tradition for African Americans, Juneteenth commemorates the date in 1865 when slavery in America officially ended, and it is widely celebrated by people of all colors and backgrounds.
Fasola Park in Deptford will host the second annual Gloucester County NAACP celebration of that day on Saturday, June 19. Partners for the free event are the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office and H.E.L.P. (Historical and Educational Lodge-Hall Preservatory), a group that advocates for and teaches about historic African American sites in the county.
“Our celebration just won’t be a celebration; it will also be an educational event,” said Gloucester County NAACP President Loretta Winters.
To promote literature, there will be a tent at the event where children can receive books as they leave. Attendees will hear performances from the Universal African dancers and drummers and Camden’s p.a.c.e band, and 20 vendors will be on hand.
“The highlight of the celebration is that we will have a softball game between the NAACP and community versus the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office,” said Winters.
Spots for the softball game, as well as free NAACP T-shirts, will be offered on a first-come-first-served basis. For attendees who need help, tables will provide resources. One will focus on veterans and another will offer membership in the NAACP branch.
“It doesn’t matter who you are, you are invited to partake in the celebration,” Winters explained. “It’s a state holiday, so people have off on that day, and it will be a great time for them to come and see exactly what it’s all about.”
The Juneteenth celebration will take place from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit GloucesterCountyNAACP.org.