Upcoming Juneteenth block party open to everyone

Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 9:25 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2023 at 3:57 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The Harrisonburg-Rockingham County branch of the NAACP is ready for everyone to be part of Juneteenth. The annual block party on North Liberty Street is happening for the third year in a row on Sunday, June 18.

June 19, or Juneteenth, commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States. It is the longest standing holiday for African-Americans — acknowledging what the Black community fights for in everyday life.

“The persistence that we’ve had over the years to combat racism discrimination. We have to remember that it serves as well historical milestones, so it’s also a time to come together communities families on, and the people as a whole,” NAACP Branch 7132 President John Butler said.

Butler says food is symbolic because the ancestors splurged for good foods like strawberry soda, meats, and red velvet cake. The Juneteenth block party is made for everyone — including Black people and allies who support Black excellence, Black power, and equality.

If you identify as an ally for the Black community and are looking to celebrate, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham NAACP suggests empowering a privilege and rights African-American ancestors never had as slaves: voting rights and registration.

The Juneteenth block party starts at 3 p.m, hosted by Mayor Deanna Reed and Councilman Chris Jones for the third year in a row with multiple allies including Magpie, Sentara RMH, the Harrisonburg Police Foundation, Eastern Mennonite University, VRMC, Sage Bird Ciderworks, and Outskirts.

Butler says Juneteenth shows that freedom is for all people, so it is important to understand every aspect of the holiday and what it represents.