Juneteenth celebrations including the Sixth Annual Juneteenth of Tyler Gospel Explosion, the Juneteenth parade and festivities at Woldert Park will take place today and Saturday in Tyler.
Rosie L. Johnson, treasurer of the Juneteenth Association of Tyler, said the goal is to try and educate the community about Juneteenth and “bring the community into unity.”
“Many people (of) different nationalities — they just don’t know what it is and why we celebrate,” she said.
The gospel program is scheduled for 7 p.m. today at People’s Missionary Baptist Church, 2908 Bellwood Road.
Participants are: Voices of People, North Tenneha Church of Christ Male Choir, Order Expressions, Robert McGee & The Gospelettes, New Destiny, The Jubilee Aires, Tyler Boys, Greater Hopewell Male Choir, Cornerstone Mimes, New Jerusalem Baptist Church, The Lacy Sisters, Hopewell Valley Baptist Church, Tyler Aires and The New Five Ways
On Saturday, the parade is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.
Ms. Johnson said via email that hundreds of spectators line the route, which begins at Glenwood Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and ends at Woldert Park, located off 32nd Street. As far as parade participants, there will be more floats involved this year than in previous years, she said.
This year’s parade grand marshal is Trent Brookshire, Brookshire’s senior vice president, division manager.
After the parade, an opening ceremony and afternoon celebration will occur at Woldert Park. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at noon.
Ms. Johnson said speakers will talk to the community about Juneteenth, the Juneteenth Association of Tyler will award scholarships and floats will be judged in three categories- theme, originality and appearance. Prizes will be presented to winners in each category.
Free food and drinks also will be available during Saturday’s celebration, and there will be many activities for children, Ms. Johnson said. Additionally, attendees will have an opportunity to register to vote.
The entry fee to participate in the parade with a float is $25, but for those who use a car or are representing a business or organization, the cost to participate is $15.
The cost for vendors at the park is $25 and Juneteenth T- Shirts are $12 each.
If anyone would like to help plan next year’s Juneteenth events, call Jack Garrett at 903-571-7468.