The City of Allentown will host a Juneteenth celebration on Sunday, June 19 from 10am to 9:30pm at Cedar Beach Park.
There will be educational Juneteenth signage throughout the park, which will showcase the history and significance of the holiday, as well as over 50 soul food, art, merchandise, and health and wellness vendors.
A three-day Juneteenth Classic Basketball tournament open to athletes 11 years of age and older will end Sunday with All Star and Championship games starting at 10am.
A free Juneteenth football camp and combine will be held at J Birney Crum Stadium. The football camp from 12 to 2pm is open to all children ages 5 to 11. The football combine will be held 2:30 to 5pm for all athletes in 7th through 12th grades. Both the basketball and football halftime performances will be played by EPIC Attraction Marching Unit from Randallstown, MD at 12 and 2pm respectively.
Cedar Beach Pool will be free to all patrons as capacity allows from 12 to 7pm. Free swim lessons will be offered in 45-minute intervals at 10am and 11am. Limited Juneteenth swag bags will be given on a first come first serve basis.
The pool will reopen at dusk for a ‘Flick and Float’ film screening in which people can watch the movie “Pride” while wading in the water. “Pride” is based on the true story of Jim Ellis who was inspired to form his city's first African American swim team after renovating a rundown recreation center with a pool. Once the film ends, people can stay to watch the fireworks from Cedar Beach Pool.
There will be live music and dancing on the main stage at Cedar Beach Park starting at 1:30pm. The opening act is Lucky 7 who will be performing from 2 to 4pm and will play a tribute to Lucky Lloyd, one of the original band members and a longstanding resident in the City. The tribute will include Lucky Lloyd’s gold hits on the 1967 record charts: “Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin, Pie” and “Keep the Ball Rollin”.
The Juneteenth Pageant crowning ceremony is scheduled for 4:30pm which will honor the 2022 Juneteenth King Gabriel Brown and Queen Zora Borde-Perry.
DJ Prince Hakim will follow Lucky 7 until 9:20pm. Then there will be a rendition of the Black National Anthem at 9:25pm. The fireworks display at 9:30pm will end the City’s Juneteenth celebration.
The presenting sponsor for this year’s event is St. Luke’s Sports Performance. The event is a collaboration between the City of Allentown, Allentown School District, St. Luke’s Sports Medicine, Muhlenberg College, U.S. Army, Juneteenth Basketball and Football community lead committees, Martin Luther & Coretta Scott Memorial Project, Kutztown University, Luv & Hugs, Children of Joy Christian Academy, and contributing local churches, organizations, and businesses.
Juneteenth, short for “June Nineteenth”, marks the day when federal troops arrived in Texas in 1865 to take control of the state following the conclusion of the Civil War and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. It honors the end of slavery in the U.S. and is considered the longest-running Black holiday.
More information on the City’s Juneteenth celebration, including registration for sports and aquatics, can be found at www.allentownpa.gov/Juneteenth.