Pasco County’s east side honored Juneteenth for the third consecutive year — again with a weeklong celebration.
The City of Dade City adopted a resolution guaranteeing there also will be a Juneteenth Community Celebration Day on June 19, or the Saturday preceding it.
That proclamation was presented by Dade City Mayor Jim Shive, along with Dade City commissioners Lisa Simon and Normita Woodard.
The city’s third annual celebration was held on June 17 at the Lewis Abraham Boys & Girls Club, 38724 Mudcat Grant Blvd., in Dade City. The event included a family fun zone, local vendors and food trucks, free health screenings, prizes, games and raffles. There also were special performances from local organizations and groups.
Juneteenth activities also featured a Juneteenth Pageant for boys and girls. The festivities were organized by the Pasco County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department.
“It’s great that we can hold events all week long,” said Kimberly Miller, a recreation coordinator for the parks and recreation department who began the Juneteenth Celebration tradition three years ago. “Of course, as a Black woman, it’s important to me, but I also honestly think that people here in East Pasco are not used to this kind of celebration and events. But the turnout from the community each year keeps getting better.
“So, the goal has always been to get more people from the community involved and part of the Juneteenth celebration.”
The event at the Boys & Girls Club was just the start of the celebrations.
There also were events in Dade City, Lacoochee, Trilby, Wesley Chapel and Zephyrhills throughout the week. Some of those events included Beat N’ Brushes: a musical painting gathering, Family Bowling Night at Pin Chasers in Zephyrhills, Community Unity 3×3 Basketball Tournament at the Wesley Chapel Recreation Center, and the Madden video game tournament, also at the Wesley Chapel Rec Center.
There also was a Sneaker Ball (daddy/daughter dance), but it was rescheduled to Sept. 15, also to be held at the Wesley Chapel Recreation Center.
Details: Juneteenth is the federal holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Its name was derived from combining June and nineteenth and it is celebrated on the anniversary of the order by Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger proclaiming freedom for enslaved people in Texas on June 19, 1865 (2 ½ years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued). Juneteenth became a federal holiday in 2021, when President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law.
Published on June 28, 2023.