Juneteenth’s freedom celebration returns Saturday

Each summer, Americans across the United States celebrate Juneteenth, commemorating the day – June 19, 1865 – when Gen. Gordon Granger reached Galveston Bay with 2,000 Union troops and decreed the emancipation of slaves.
The announcement arrived more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Another 150 years later and the date was ultimately commemorated as a federal holiday in the Juneteenth National Independence Act.
The Gladewater MLK/Juneteenth Committee’s annual celebration is scheduled for Saturday, June 22.
The ‘Freedom Day’ event begins with the annual parade through downtown Gladewater with newly-installed Mayor Brandy Flanagan serving as Grand marshal.
Parade participants will gather at 9:30 a.m. in the 100 block of East Commerce Street before rolling out at 10 a.m. and turning South on Hwy. 271. Following Main Street, the caravan will turn along Coach Cooksey Street before coming to a stop at Bumblebee Park.
The park’s festivities will get underway at approximately 10:45 a.m. – hopefully later, Alexander says, if a healthy influx of parade participants keeps it rolling longer.
“Everyone in the community is invited to come out,” Alexander said. “We’re going to be giving away free food, there’s going to be music, a bounce house for the kids and hopefully some other activities for the kids.”
There’s no specific plan for vendors, she noted, but they’re welcome to join the event by calling in advance.
To register a parade float, sign up as a car show participant or reserve a vendor spot, call 903-806-5443 or 903-237-9740.

Church’s ‘Boot Camp’ set July 27
Sit ‘Em Down Cowboy Church’s annual Kids for Christ B.O.O.T. Camp returns July 27 at 231 PR 3487 in Big Sandy.
The ‘Biblical Outlook & Outreach Training’ is crafted for children who have completed Pre-K (4 years-old) through those who have finished 5th grade.
“We want you!” the church announced, “to come join us for an action-packed day at B.O.O.T. camp learning how to put on the full armor of God daily as we fight spiritual battles!
“Soldiers, grab your Bibles and be a part of the Lord’s army!”
Themed around Ephesians 6:10-18, the camp begins with registration at 8 a.m. then runs 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Breakfast and a hot dug lunch will be provided.
Children should dress in clothes to get wet/dirty and should bring a towel, spray sunscreen, “and an open heart to hear about Jesus!”
An additional waiver will be required upon arrival. Armbands will be provided for each children and the adult responsible for pick-up. Learn more on the SDCC Youth Facebook page.

Storytime Thursday
Two books will be read to small children Thursday (June 20) at both of the Upshur County Library’s “Storytime” sessions in Gilmer.
To be presented at the 10 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. gatherings are “A Fox Named Fox” by Dima Eichhorn, and “Little Red Fox Has Feelings” by Didi Dragon, illustrated by Maria Mau.
A craft involving a fox-related theme will follow each reading at the library, 702 W. Tyler (which is also Texas 154). While the events are free to the public, children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
For more information, call the library at (903) 843-5001.

Shake, rattle & Roll
A ‘50s and ‘60s show group is ready to getting things rockin’ come August. The national and international award-winning women of Shake Rattle & Roll will be performing at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, at the invitation of Gladewater Former Students’ Association.
Tickets are $25 per person for the concert in the GFSA Building at 2509 Hendricks St. All seats are General Admission, and free for children younger than 12.
For more information, call 903-845-2631.

Blood drive set
Carter BloodCare of Tyler will hold a “Gilmer community blood drive” Thursday, June 20.
The event, sponsored by the Upshur County office of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, is set from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 101 E. Cass. (The site is near the Dollar General Store and the old Gilmer National Bank motor bank, which now houses the county government’s information technology equipment.)
For more information , contact County Extension Agent Julie York at 903- 680-8128, julie.york@ag.tamu.edu, or the blood center at 800-366-2834.

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