Victoria civic group celebrates Juneteenth

Gene Ellis pushed dominos while playing with others during the Old Landmark Committee’s Juneteenth celebration in 2019. This year’s Victoria event is postponed until October because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Juneteenth Committee in Edna will host a parade and celebration on Saturday.

The Old Landmark Committee in Victoria will wait to schedule festivities in Victoria until later in the year because of coronavirus concerns.

The parade in Edna will begin at 10 a.m. on Main Street. It will feature the Diamond Divas, a new youth female dance team; Miss Juneteenth; Junior Miss Juneteenth; Little Miss Juneteenth; motorcycle and car clubs; and miniature horses, among other entries.

The celebration at Martin Luther King Park in Edna will start at 1 p.m. It will feature music throughout the day and evening. Rapper Lil’ Keke and local favorite Morris Hopes will be among those performing all genres of music.

Vendors will sell barbecue and turkey but guests also can bring their own food.

Houston boutiques and a T-shirt vendor will be among those selling merchandise.

“We have a lot of talent with lots of Instagram, Facebook and Apple Music followers,” said Shanna Brooks, president of the Juneteenth Committee.

A Kids’ Zone will provide photo opportunities with the miniature horses, bouncy houses and free food for the children. Guests are encouraged to bring chairs and tents for shade.

“This is my first year to take part and COVID put us behind because everything was shut down,” Brooks said. “It’s still important to do something for the community. Our children need to know the history of Juneteenth. It’s good to bring everybody together because there is so much going on right now. We’ll all come together, have a nice time and enjoy each other.”

In Victoria, the Juneteenth celebration will be pushed back until October. Tentatively, Sandra Avery, president and founder of the Old Landmark Committee, has reserved Oct. 3 for gospel music at First United Methodist Church and Oct. 17 for a day of activities at the Community Park Splash Pad.

Elena Anita Watts covers arts, culture and entertainment for the Victoria Advocate.

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