Juneteenth celebration to continue in Pasco

By Dori O'Neal, Tri-City HeraldJune 13, 2013 

The 2013 Juneteenth celebration started out with the crowning of Miss Juneteenth Ajanae Kinsey last weekend, and continues this weekend and June 20-22 around Pasco.

The queen and her court will make appearances June 21 at the Martin Luther King Center, 205 S. Wehe Ave., Pasco.

Kinsey is the daughter of Pamela Kinsey of Richland and Darrell Kinsey of Lake Oswego, Ore. Her court includes first runner-up Mariah Kensey of Kennewick, second runner-up and Miss Congeniality Indanecia Baker of Pasco, and third runner-up Aubreona Patrick of Pasco.

Juneteenth, which celebrates the emancipation of slaves after the Civil War, is more than just a celebration for African-Americans, said Elouise Sparks, an organizer of the event.

"Juneteenth became a big celebration for African-American people, but it's not just for us," Sparks said. "It's for anyone who has, within their culture, been enslaved by others."

Saturday's festivities include a basketball tournament for elementary kids through high school. It is scheduled through Wednesday, depending on how many teams sign up. Anyone interested in particiapting should contact Edmon Daniels at 547-9604 or email juneteenthcouncil@yahoo.com.

On June 20, there will be a family roller skate at 6:30 p.m. at the Richland Rollarena, 849 Stevens Drive. Cost is $7 each for a two-hour skate session.

On June 21, there will be talent and fashion shows starting at 6 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Center.

On June 22 softball games begin at 9 a.m. at Kurtzman Park, corner of Wehe Avenue and Lewis Street in Pasco, followed by a parade at 11 a.m., which starts at Whittier Elementary School and ends at Kurtzman Park.

The music festival starts at noon. There'll be plenty of food vendors on site selling a variety of food throughout the day.

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