By: Bryan Boggiano
Coral Springs is getting ready to host an in-person Juneteenth celebration, which commemorates the abolition of slavery in the United States.
There will be performances from blues singer-songwriter Kat Riggins, The Valerie Tyson Band, and May Reign, who will give a spoken word performance with visual artist Jaquale Rhule.
There will be pod tables on a first-come-first-serve basis with four chairs per pod. Parking is free, and food trucks and barbecue is available for purchase. The event will include other speakers and community leaders who will talk about the significance of Juneteenth.
Juneteenth, also called Freedom Day, marks the abolition of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation came to Galveston, Texas, freeing thousands of enslaved men, women, and children.
The city held a virtual event in 2020 due to COVID-19, and they will take extra steps to keep residents safe.
Vice Mayor Joshua Simmons, who will host the event, says the day has special significance for him. While it is a day for celebration, it is also a day of commemoration.
“[Juneteenth’s purpose] is to recognize, embrace and understand that this is a moment in time where our country overcame one of the worst times in our history,” he said. “We’re a very diverse city, and it’s an event to celebrate black people in our city and overcoming a dark moment in our history.”
While the Juneteenth celebration is one of several multicultural events the city hosts, Simmons hopes that black people, especially black children, see that the city values them by holding events like this.
“We do have a lot of black children in the city, and it is my hope that they enjoy this event, feel pride in themselves, and be proud to be a resident of Coral Springs,” he said.
The event will take place Saturday, June 19, from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m., at the Sportsplex 2575 Sportsplex Drive. Gates open at 5 p.m., while live entertainment starts at 6 p.m.
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