Tops on the list of Houston couples, families and other groups looking for fun stuff to do this weekend is the "Number 3 summer festival in the nation" Houston’s Juneteenth.
The weekend event draws people from all over the nation who come to party, participate and partake of the parades, concerts and festivals held all over the area each year.
The city’s Juneteenth celebrations have their roots in antebellum Galveston, Texas, where the "Emancipation Proclamation" was read from the balcony of Ashton Villa, which had been the headquarters for the Confederate Army in Texas.
The following year African Americans in Houston began celebrating the occasion in the newly purchased Emancipation Park and soon other communities around the Gulf Coast began joining in.
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Free things to this weekend
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Take a look at some of the parades, festivals and free concerts scheduled for 2011 Juneteenth weekend in the Houston area:
Parades In Houston - Juneteenth
“National Emancipation Association’s 38th Annual Juneteenth Parade"
The longest running parade honoring the African American holiday featuring floats, trail riders and marching bands from local high schools starts in front of minute maid park.
Independence Heights Juneteenth Parade & Festival
This family-oriented event. The Parade's Theme: Someplace In Time will feature more than 100 Parade Entries will will have a duration of 1.5 hrs.
Missouri City, Tx
Annual Juneteenth Celebration 2011
“One Mile of Smiles” Parade 6:00pm
Texas Parkway Missouri City
Houston Festivals - Juneteenth
Missouri City Juneteenth Festival
7:00pm ~ 11:00pm Hunters Glen Park
Emancipation Park the site of Houston’s oldest Juneteenth festival has several events scheduled during the month of June.
Featuring Miss Juneteenth Pageant..Healthy Living Triathalon... Freedom Golf Tournament
SHAPE Community Center
Reclaiming the Village Juneteenth Celebration and Health Fair (Free)
Health Fair, Fun, Food Co-op, Games & Vendors at Our Park next to Shape Center
Houston Black Dance Festival 2011
This biennial dance festival celebrates the culture and contributions of the African Diaspora to the art to Dance.
Community Center & Park Grounds
Juneteenth Gospel Sunday Jubilee
Miller Outdoor Theater
This year's musical performers will be:
Glen David Andrews Band, from New Orleans, Louisiana. Other artist scheduled are:
Blues legend Texas Johnny Brown and the Quality Blues Band
Couples and families free tickets for the covered seating area (4 per person over age 16 while they last) from the Miller Outdoor Theatre box office the day of the performance between the hours of 10:30am-1pm. The box office will re-open one hour before show time to distribute any remaining tickets for the nights event.
Other celebrations marking this weekends events:
“FREEDMEN’S TOWN” by playwright Dwight Baxter, about Houston’s Freedmen’s Town and the men an women who organized the first Juneteenth celebrations will be presented at Mt. Horeb Missionary Baptist Church Friday night.
Free Film Screening
"Filling the Gap" NAACP 2011 Image Award (Nominee Docudrama)
Tyrone Young's eye-opening chronicles of African American participation in America's Civil War.
Houston couples, families and members of the community at-large are being encouraged to participate with Houston’s African American community to strengthen the tradition of Juneteenth by celebrating this historical event.
It creates an excellent opportunity to educate children on cultural diversity, government and Black history. Houston is fortunate to have several statues, parks and museums that you can visit that will shed light on the numerous African American contributions and experiences in America.