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story.lead_photo.caption Planning Comittee co-chairs Maggie George, left, and Wyndi Chambers lead the Boys & Girls Club drumline Saturday June 15, 2019, during the 18th annual Juneteenth Heritage Festival at Ellis Porter Park. The drumline recently won first place in the St. Louis Battle of the Bands and were recognized for their achievements during the event. Photo by Sally Ince / News Tribune.

This weekend's Juneteenth celebration at Community Park aims to "Honor our ancestors while building our future."

Juneteenth commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, a Union general rode into Texas to announce the Civil War had ended and slaves were freed — two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

The Jefferson City celebration begins Saturday morning with a 10 a.m. ceremony at Soldier's Memorial on Lincoln University's campus. The program will be led by the Rev. William T. Edmonson Sr., the founder and president of the local Juneteenth committee. Remarks by retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Hank Stratman will follow.

After the ceremony, a motorcade will lead attendees to Community Park, 725 Marshall St., where there will be a bicycle giveaway for children. Visit juneteenth to register for a shot at winning a bike.

Saturday night will feature a free showing of "Black Panther." The movie begins at sunset, around 9 p.m., at Community Park. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or a blanket; food and drinks are available at the concession stand.

From 4-8 p.m. Sunday, bring the family back to the park for music, food, games and giveaways, as well as a Black businesses showcase. The Jefferson City Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department will also dedicate a sculpture series at the park, which examines the history of the Foot District.

The Community Park Juneteenth events are organized by the Jefferson City NAACP, JC Parks and the Jefferson City Community Center Association, along with numerous other business and organization partnerships.

For more information, visit the Juneteenth Community Celebration Facebook event.

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