POCAHONTAS — This year’s annual Juneteenth Celebration is set to be the biggest one since the Eddie Mae Herron Center introduced the holiday to Pocahontas and Randolph County 10 years ago.
Juneteenth is the celebration of the emancipation of those who were enslaved in the United States.
Festivities begin at 7 p.m. June 18 at the Rendezvous Event Center, 106 E. Everett St., with a one-woman presentation of “Harriet Tubman: One Woman’s Journey.”
The show highlights Tubman’s inner struggle with her faith while hearing the voice of God to help her in her journey. It features Jackie Murray and is produced by Imperial Productions with funding in part by Randolph County.
Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door and are available at the Eddie Mae Herron Center, 870-892-4433. The money raised will support the center.
Festivities on June 19, will be held at the Eddie Mae Herron Center at 1708 Archer St., leading off at 9 a.m. with music by Ashton Bradley with an opening program about Juneteenth, followed by more music, games, cake walks, food, line dancing, a bounce house and a special event featuring a First Responders Free Throw Contest slated for 11 a.m.
All events on Saturday are free of charge. Those attending are invited to bring lawn chairs and small canopies.
“We wanted to focus, as others have said, not on ‘the horrific institution our country embraced, but rather as a showcase of the strength in the American spirit to recognize wrong and set about making it right. In this same spirit, America moves ahead today in leveling playing fields and achieving ever greater equality,” EMH Chairwoman Pat Johnson said.
“This year, we feel this spirit of coming together is especially important. And so we have involved our First Responders and we want to be sure that our community members, our police, sheriff’s officers, fire department, Pro-Med, and other first responders have a chance to get to know each other better,” she added.
Also featured will be a Battle of the Banks Barbecue Cook-Off, featuring Farmers and Merchants Bank, IberiaBank, First National Bank, River Bank and BanCorp South. In addition, individuals will compete in a separate barbecue cook-off.
Cook-off rules and entry information are available at the center. Deadline to enter is June 14.