Juneteenth celebration will take over the SteelStacks campus this weekend

Written by on June 16, 2021

Juneteenth celebration will take over the SteelStacks campus this weekend

By Genesis Ortega

June 16, 2021

Allentown residents commemorate Juneteenth 2020. Photo | Tyler Pratt / WLVR

Juneteenth, an abbreviation of June 19, celebrates the day slavery ended in Texas in 1865. This year the Lehigh Valley will mark the day in a way it has not done before. 

Listen to the story.

The celebration begins at 11 a.m. June 19 at the SteelStacks campus in Bethlehem. 

Karen Britt, the president of Juneteenth Lehigh Valley, says the focus is educating the community about the history behind this holiday. 

“It was a celebration. An enslaved people that were enslaved for 400 years are free, they’re emancipated. So it’s our liberation day,” Britt says.

The family-friendly event will include soul, R&B, jazz and reggae music, films, food trucks and children’s activities. 

“It gives a sense of community and it gives a sense of pride that looking at the contributions that we have made, that yes we are a part of the fabric of this nation and our liberation day needs to be celebrated,” she says.

The festival will also feature a chef preparing a historical Juneteenth menu, traditionally a feast of red food and drinks, a symbol of the blood shed by enslaved Africans. 

“If I can eat a hotdog with you on the 4th of July to celebrate the liberation of the United States while my people were enslaved, you can eat a slice of red velvet cake with me on Juneteenth,” Britt says.

PBS39 and WLVR 91.3 are sponsors of the Juneteenth celebration this weekend. 

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