Juneteenth Festival set for this weekend

Peter Silas Pasqua
Members of a second-line parade march into Louisiana Square to the opening ceremony of the Juneteenth Freedom festival last year. The 14th annual festival is this weekend.

One of the city's biggest festivals will kick off its 14th edition Friday.

The Juneteenth Freedom Festival, celebrating the day enslaved people of Galveston, Texas received word of their freedom on June 19, 1865, is one of many celebrations around the world commemorating African American freedom but is the largest in the state of Louisiana.

"From what I have been told, we have the largest and most continuous Juneteenth celebration in the state without interruption," River Road African American Museum curator Kathe Hambrick Jackson has said.

The museum took over Donaldsonville's celebration after the late Janet Francis and Delores Scioneaux created the event. 

Today, a committee of 25 volunteers coordinate the tourism, educational and cultural event.

The festival kicks off Thursday with an African American Genealogy Workshop at the Ascension Parish Library. the

The festival continues Friday with the Juneteenth Talent Show and Greek Step Show at the Lemann Memorial Center from 7 - 10 p.m.

The festival moves to Louisiana Square Saturday for live jazz, blues, R&B and hip hop music from 1 - 9 p.m.

The festival continues Sunday with the Juneteenth Gospel Choir Competition from 2 - 6 p.m.

"It is a celebration about freedoms and it is also a time for Americans to learn more about emancipation in general and the various ways freedom came to African Americans throughout the nation," Hambrick said.