Juneteenth Festival hosts multicultural events



CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The 17th Annual Juneteenth Festival of the Carolinas returns to Charlotte Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Independence Park from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. This year's Cultural Camp on Thursday begins at 9 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. at Elizabeth Traditional Elementary School, 1601 Park Drive, in Charlotte.

The festival offers an array of cultural traditions and diversity through food, arts and music as well as a broad variety of ethnic foods plus a selection of vendors displaying unique arts, crafts and clothing from around the world.

Enjoy fabulous R&B, blues, jazz, reggae, hip-hop and many more music and dance groups will perform throughout the weekend's festivities. Below are highlights of this year's festivities:

Friday: The Drum Circle attracts music and dance enthusiasts of all ethnicities and from all over the world.

An Education Village is an integral part of the festival. Events in this village range from lectures by prominent educators and historians to book signings and discussions. African-American history will be on display.

The Marilyn Griffith Turner Scholarship Fund, which is named posthumously after the long-standing chairwoman, is a full four-year college scholarship given to a youth approved by the selection committee in conjunction with the awarding college.

A Health Care Village staffed with health care professionals and a First Care Medical Clinic will be on site. In addition, various free healthcare screenings will be available to festival attendees.

Children's Village helps children enjoy the Juneteenth Festival as well with a special area with entertaining and educational crafts, as well as a storyteller performing stage and other interactive activities designed just for kids.

The Entertainment Stages spotlight all genres of entertainment to include fashion, dance, singing, poetry, a gospel fest and much more.

There will be multicultural vendors traveling from across the country and parts of Africa showcasing food, art, music and culturally relevant specialty items.

Saturday: A Sign of the Times of the Carolinas is dedicated to improving our community through music.

Experience Charlotte Royalty with Queen Charlotte -- sharing Charlotte's history, heritage and happenings.

Sunday: Church service with The Park Ministries and the Gospel Explosion hosted by Tonya Rivans.