Cary, NC – Juneteenth is a nationwide celebration of the end of slavery in the United States, and Cary holds its first Juneteenth celebration this year, mixing both education and cultural arts.
First Juneteenth Celebration
Cary’s Juneteenth takes place Saturday, June 15, 2019 from 10 AM to 2 PM at the Downtown Cary Park. Adam Bell, Cary’s festivals and events supervisor, said a group of citizens approached the town with the idea for the event.
“We thought it was a great opportunity to show the diversity in Cary,” Bell said. “We want to listen to our citizens and they have lots of great ideas.”
The Saturday event will feature, in addition to art and food vendors, dance and music performances as well as talks on Cary history, specifically African-American history in town.
“The committee that put this event together wanted the main focus to be on education and the end of slavery,” Bell said. “But in addition, we wanted a festive feel. The end of slavery is something to celebrate.”
Focus on the People
To add to the festive feel, Juneteenth takes place outdoors at Cary’s Downtown Park.
“The Downtown Park is becoming a destination, so it’s appropriate to hold this celebration at the park,” Bell said.
While most of the Juneteenth events take place on Saturday, there’s an additional performance on Friday, June 14, 2019 in the Town Council chambers at 6:30 PM. Here, visitors will see a performance of Darrel Stover’s “Run on Water.” Stover is the programming director of Durham’s Hayti Heritage Center and wrote “Run of Water” as a radio vignette play, telling the story of a newly freed man trying to find his wife and son.
“We talk about the emancipation of slavery as a whole community but there were thousands of families affected by slavery,” Bell said. “This will take a micro-view and show how slavery affected people on an individual level.”
Friday, June 14, 2019 || 6:30 PM || Cary Town Council Chamber, 316 N Academy St.
Saturday, June 15, 2019 || 10 AM to 2 PM || Downtown Cary Park, 319 S Academy St.
Story by Michael Papich. Photos by Hal Goodtree.