By Sidhartha Wakade
The Morgan County African American Museum (MCAAM) will hold its annual June-Fest festival from noon. to 5 p.m. on Saturday June 22.
The festival is to celebrate Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the emancipation of slaves in Texas during the week leading up to June 19 according to the MCAAM director Cheryl Bland. There will be food, face painting and art exhibits at the event, Bland said.
“We’re trying to give back to the community with a family-filled fun event with activities that families will enjoy,” she said.
Despite the MCAAM’s 27 years of operations, the June-Fest is a relatively new addition, explained Bland. This is the third year that June-Fest will be happening, and Bland hopes to expand the festival.
“We’re doing a lot of advertising this year,” she said. “We’re looking for two to three hundred people this year.”
Part of the June-Fest is also educational, since a lot of people who come do not quite know about Juneteenth. The MCAAM offers background on the holiday during the festival, like how slaves did not find out about their freedom until two years after emancipation.
“We give them the story of Juneteenth,” she said. “Even though Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862 it took a while for it to get around.”
Another part of the festival is to bring awareness to the museum and what it has to offer the community.
“We want the whole community to come,” she said. “There are so many people that say ‘I didn’t even know it was there.’ I want people to know it’s here.”