“If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” Wise words attributed to an African proverb and a motto that rings true as a team effort is underway in Lewes to organize a first-of-its-kind celebration.
The Lewes African American Heritage Commission will host the city’s inaugural Juneteenth Celebration Saturday, June 25, in George H.P. Smith Park. The hope for the day is to celebrate African-American heritage and culture while also learning about and understanding the meaning of the federal holiday. Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.
Entertainment will be provided by musical guests Christy Taylor & Golden Branch and Mike Hines & The Look, along with performances by Daande Lenol African Dance & Drum, and the Nanticoke Indian Dance/Drum teams. Various local nonprofits and educational societies will join in on the fun along with local and state representatives.
During the celebration, the Historic Lewes Farmers Market will still take place, but thanks to collaboration and effective communication, the layout of the event and the market will be able to coexist. In fact, some vendors of the market have discussed providing children attending the celebration with small, refreshing produce snacks.
In order to accommodate the influx of people, the traffic pattern will be altered and maintained by traffic control. The parking lot on DuPont Avenue will be a drop-off/pickup area for those utilizing public transportation, such as the Lewes Line, and a parking lot for public safety and emergency vehicles. Police and fire police will also help direct people to a temporary parking lot in a field adjacent to the Fred Thomas Building off DuPont Avenue.
Final approval for the layout is needed, but the stage currently will be the epicenter of the celebration. Food trucks will be scattered throughout the festival area and, as of now, Falling Off the Bone, Sabor Latino, That Kitchen, J&B Grilling, Homan’s Peanut & L.O., Army of 2, Caribbean Cuisine, Cone Heads, Fat Vinny’s and Old Shoal are confirmed as the food trucks on site. Volunteers will help attendees navigate the grounds.
The event is scheduled for 1 to 6 p.m., with a schedule of events set to run the course of the five hours. A rain date has been set for the following day, Sunday, June 26. No alcohol will be permitted. For more information, go to ci.lewes.de.us.