First-ever Idlewild Juneteenth Festival to be held next month

IDLEWILD — Next month, a new festival will be held in Idlewild celebrating African-American culture and community in general.

The first-ever Idlewild Juneteenth Festival will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. on June 14 in John Meeks Park in Idlewild.

Celebrated throughout the country, Juneteenth festivals commemorate the end of slavery. After the emancipation proclamation was signed, Union soldiers traveled through the south to let slaves know they were free. Because the travel took several days to complete and not every heard the news on the same day, the festivals became known as Juneteenth.

“I wanted to bring this festival to Idlewild because they kind of go together,” said Micala Evans, Idlewild Juneteenth Festival president. “Idlewild was the community created out of the Jim Crow era where blacks could vacation and have vacation homes. I think having a festival like Juneteenth here in Idlewild would bring more sense of community to have an annual event for the community.”

Evans, along with her co-organizers, ChaDorea Robinson, Erica Tate and Doresa Walston-Mack, also wanted to bring a festival to the area that was family-friendly and for all ages. The festival will include an opening ceremony, entertainers throughout the day, field games, food vendors, arts and crafts activities and a petting zoo.

Evans hopes she can garner more support from the community follow next month’s festival to make it an annual festival.

For more information, contact Evans at (231) 709-5724.