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Juneteenth returns to downtown Great Bend
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A historic national event will be celebrated in downtown Great Bend later this month as the Black Heritage Club sponsors Juneteenth 2011.
Juneteenth originated at the end of the Civil War as a celebration of Emancipation Day.
The local even will be held on Saturday, June 18 in Jack Kilby Plaza, in the courthouse square, downtown and will run from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.
It will feature music, dancers, speakers, and all sorts of fun activities.
There will be food, refreshments, popcorn and sales booths around the plaza area, according to information from the Black Heritage Club.
According to information from the national Juneteenth committee, the event is historic in its origins.
“From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond.
“Today Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a day, a week, and in some areas a month marked with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics and family gatherings. It is a time for reflection and rejoicing. It is a time for assessment, self-improvement and for planning the future. Its growing popularity signifies a level of maturity and dignity in America long over due.
“In cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities and religions are joining hands to truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today. Sensitized to the conditions and experiences of others, only then can we make significant and lasting improvements in our society.”
More information on the national celebration is available at on the Internet.
“ promotes unity, freedom, achievement and self-esteem through the celebration of Juneteenth across the nation and beyond.
“Our mission is to inspire and support individuals, organizations and corporations in the hosting of Juneteenth celebrations. Through these celebrations, a greater understanding, appreciation and embrace of our nation’s diversity will be achieved. 
“The website serves as an educational and motivational resource for all.”