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12th Annual Juneteenth Community Celebration returns to Fort Myers

The Lee County Black History Society, Dunbar Festival Committee and the African Coalition of Southwest Florida are partnering to host the 12th Annual Juneteenth Community Celebration at Roberto Clemente Park, 1936 Henderson Ave. in Fort Myers from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 15. The event is free to attend.

“Juneteenth is a family-oriented celebration that focuses on community, and a time to recount the stories of the past,” said Charles Barnes, chair of the Lee County Black History Society. “Juneteenth celebrations strive to acknowledge the wrongs that were committed by slavery and help to raise descendants up by concentrating on education and personal achievements.”

This year’s Juneteenth Celebration will be filled with fun and entertainment for the entire family, including stage performances, music, arts and crafts, food and refreshments. Event attendees will also have a chance to receive free information from community businesses in wealth, health, education, job training, employment, housing, corporate and governmental services and more. The event emcee is First Lady Niki from Fly 98.5 Radio.

Also at the event, Lee County students will be recognized for their academic and community service achievements as part of the CARSS Program, Celebrating and Recognizing Students’ Success, a collaboration between educator Constance Davis White, Lee County Black History Society and the School District of Lee County. The student honorees will receive an award, medal and gift certificate.

Juneteenth, which has been celebrated since the late 1800s, was recognized as a federal holiday in 2021. The holiday is generally observed on or around June 19, the day that slaves in Galveston, Texas, learned that they had been freed, more than two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

For more information, visit leecountyblackhistorysociety.org/events/.

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