9th Annual Watertown Juneteenth coming up Saturday

Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 1:37 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Watertown will be celebrating Juneteenth this Saturday with a flag-raising ceremony and community event.

Organizer Bianca Ellis and musician Jacob Ploch, known as JayP, appeared on 7 News at Noon on Tuesday to talk about the event. Watch their interview above.

The Watertown Juneteenth is a family-friendly, arts and education community event featuring the talents of soldiers and civilians of the Fort Drum, Watertown, and surrounding communities.

Vendors, live music, community health and education organizations, and presentations return this year as part of the annual celebration.

The 9th Annual Watertown Juneteenth will begin 11 a.m. on Saturday at Watertown City Hall with the raising of the Pan-African flag, followed by the rest of the afternoon at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall, 615 W.T. Fields Drive.

Admission is open to the public and by donation only.

This year’s guest speaker is educator and author, Dr. Seth Asumah. Dr. Asumah is Distinguished Teaching Professor, Chair and Professor of Africana Studies and of Political Science at the State University of New York at Cortland. He is the author of 10 books and over 100 articles, chapters, and essays. His recent work, Race, Gender, and Inclusive Leadership: Valuing Diversity, Questioning Risk Management in the Beloved Community, is scheduled for publication by SUNY Press.

Featured artists this year include Brooklyn-based, wind and percussion group, The Weusi Ensemble; Syracuse jazz fusion band, SMX; local musician JayP, and more. Youth and adults share poetry, instruments, and inspiration on the Juneteenth stage.

Juneteenth, a combination of the words “June” and “nineteenth”, commemorates the ending of legal slavery in America. Celebrated by Americans since 1865, Juneteenth became a national holiday in 2021. National Juneteenth celebrations honor African American resilience, history, and culture.

Juneteenth was observed for the first time in Jefferson County in June 2014 when a group of Fort Drum soldiers, retirees, church, and community members organized and presented a free program at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.

For more information, email or call 315-775-4065.

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