Juneteenth festivities set in Donaldsonville

Staff Report

Donaldsonville is scheduled to celebrate its 25th annual Juneteenth Festival from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Frank Sotile Pavilion.

The Juneteenth Festival is Saturday in Donaldsonville.

The City of Donaldsonville and the festival committee have carried on the Juneteenth Festival tradition locally since its inception in 1996. Started by former Donaldsonville Mayor B.J. Francis Sr. and his late wife, Janet Ganes Francis, it was continued through the efforts of the River Road African American Museum and other volunteers in the community.  In 2011, Tamiko Francis Garrison, Allison Hudson, and the City of Donaldsonville assumed the planning of the festival. The family-oriented festival is free and open to the public.

Juneteenth commemorates the day when slaves in the last geographic area in America where slavery existed learned of their freedom. This took place on June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas, when Union General Gordon Granger read General Order #3, announcing that "all slaves are free" by Proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln.

The Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln on September 22, 1862, and issued on January 1, 1863. It took more than two and a half years for the news to travel to southwest Texas.

"Juneteenth is a landmark in history, a celebration of freedom and the end of enslavement in America," states Rev. Ronald V. Myers Sr., M.D., Founder & Chairman of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF) and the National Juneteenth Jazz Artist.

At 2 p.m., the Juneteenth Committee invites the 2021 high school and college graduates to walk across the stage with there stole, ropes and medals to celebrate their accomplishments.

At 4 p.m., Skye Taylor, the 2020 Miss Donaldsonville Juneteenth, will crown the 2021 Miss Donaldsonville Juneteenth, Miss Teen Donaldsonville Juneteenth and Little Miss Donaldsonville Juneteenth.

“Come out, bring your family/chairs, listen to the wonderful music, hear the history of Juneteenth and enjoy delicious cuisine of our local vendors” said Tamiko Francis Garrison, volunteer co-chairperson. 

Line-up:

  • 11-11:30 a.m. - History
  • 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. - Angel of Faith Wanda August Gospel Show live from Juneteenth 
  • 12:30-2 p.m. - DJ Mario
  • 2-3:30 p.m. -- DJ Thriller and graduates
  • 3-4 p.m. - Red Tape Musiq
  • 4-4:30 p.m. - Crowning of 2021 Little Miss Juneteenth, Miss Teen Juneteenth and Miss Juneteenth 
  • 4:30-5:30pm  - Universal Language 
  • 6-7 p.m. - Michael Foster Project

For general information, contact Tamiko Francis Garrison, co-chairperson at 225-803-4042. Vendors contact Allison Hudson, co-chairperson at 504-610-3292.