Marsha Love and Eddie Middleton dance to the music of Seattle jazz guitarist Michael Powers during the Linda Sweezer Memorial Juneteenth Festival and Celebration at Morrill Meadows Park last year. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Marsha Love and Eddie Middleton dance to the music of Seattle jazz guitarist Michael Powers during the Linda Sweezer Memorial Juneteenth Festival and Celebration at Morrill Meadows Park last year. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

KBAC’s Juneteenth celebration returns to Morrill Meadows Park

Event commemorates important day in African-American history

The Kent Black Action Commission (KBAC) presents its eighth annual Linda Sweezer Memorial Juneteenth Festival and Celebration on Saturday, June 22, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Morrill Meadows Park, 10600 SE 248th St., on the East Hill.

The family friendly, community-wide, cultural celebration commemorates African-American freedom. It is free to the public.

The event was renamed last year to honor Sweezer, a KBAC member, who was killed in her East Hill home.

Active in her neighborhood and wider community, Sweezer joined KBAC – a small grassroots group working to shape, support and advance conditions of the African-American community – several years ago. She was a smiling, warm personality who helped coordinate events, including the Juneteenth gathering.

Juneteenth marks an important day in African-American history. It has been 154 years since the word of the signing, on Sept. 22, 1862, of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached Galveston, Texas, over 2½ years after the fact, on June 19, 1865. Each year on or about June 19, celebrations take place throughout the United States to remember and pay homage of the historic day.

It is the oldest, nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the country.

The opening ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. There will be a lineup of speakers, lunch provided by KBAC from noon to p.m., games for children, a community dance and vendors showcasing their services and products.

Seattle jazz guitarist Michael Powers returns to headline entertainment in the park.

For those who would like to support KBAC, donations can be made to the organization’s GoFundMe account.

To learn more, visit kentblackactioncommission.org or Facebook.

For more information, email KbacKent@gmail.com, contact Gwen Allen-Carston at 253-486-9029, or Azalea Johnson at 253-631-7944 for vendor inquiries.

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