Culture & Heritage Festival
Ohio University Southern is excited to host the inaugural Culture & Heritage Festival from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 17, leading up to the Juneteenth holiday.
Although Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19 each year, has long been celebrated in the African American community, this monumental event remains largely unknown to most Americans. Annually, starting in June 2021, Ohio University celebrates this occasion with programming and activities.
12 – 12: 30 p.m. (Shafer Courtyard)Opening CeremoniesOpening ceremonies will begin at 12 p.m. with the presentation of colors from Boy Scout Troop 106, followed by the National Anthem performed by the Ironton High School Varsity Singers and remarks from local leaders.
12:30 – 1:15 p.m.Renée Stewart BandLive performance by Renée Stewart Band, a Southeast, Ohio, band blending lyrical honesty with rock and roll roots.
1:30 – 2:15 p.m.Robert LomaxLive performance by Robert Lomax, who enjoys using his tenor voice singing Spirituals, Gospel and Contemporary Christian music.
2:30 – 3:30 p.m.Honey DippedLive performance by Honey Dipped, a team of experienced musicians and performers who are passionate about creating unforgettable experiences.
5 - 6 p.m. (Bowman Auditorium)Juneteenth: A Celebration of Historical Legacies | Written & Directed by Belinda BrownIntroducing a must-see theatrical event that is sure to capture hearts and minds: Juneteenth: A Celebration of Historical Legacies. This uplifting production, performed by local resident actors and written and directed by Ironton's Belinda Brown, is a fitting tribute to African Americans who have made indelible contributions to our country.
Audiences will be transported through time as they witness the remarkable lives and legacies of those who fought for freedom, justice, and equality. The production highlights African Americans' often-overlooked contributions, reminding us of their critical role in shaping the course of American history.
Don't pass up your chance to be part of this powerful theatrical experience that aims to inspire, educate and move audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
6 – 7 p.m. (Bowman Auditorium Lobby)Closing ReceptionA closing reception will take place in the lobby of the Bowman Auditorium.
Culture & Heritage Festival Vendor and Tabling Request Forms
Community organizations and vendors (food and other items) are invited to table and offer services during the Culture & Heritage Festival. Below are links to vendor and tabling forms for businesses and organizations to request to participate in the Culture & Heritage Festival being held on Saturday, June 17th, 2023 from 12 to 7 p.m. at Ohio University Southern Campus.
The deadline for registration is is 5 p.m. Monday, May 22.
For more information concerning participation, please email Robert Pleasant.
On “Freedom’s Eve,” or the eve of January 1, 1863, the first Watch Night services took place. On that night, enslaved and free African Americans gathered in churches and private homes all across the country awaiting news that the Emancipation Proclamation had taken effect. At the stroke of midnight, prayers were answered as all enslaved people in Confederate States were declared legally free. Union soldiers, many of whom were black, marched onto plantations and across cities in the south reading small copies of the Emancipation Proclamation spreading the news of freedom in Confederate States. Only through the Thirteenth Amendment did emancipation end slavery throughout the United States.
But not everyone in Confederate territory would immediately be free. Even though the Emancipation Proclamation was made effective in 1863, it could not be implemented in places still under Confederate control. As a result, in the westernmost Confederate state of Texas, enslaved people would not be free until much later. Freedom finally came on June 19, 1865, when some 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas. The army announced that the more than 250,000 enslaved black people in the state, were free by executive decree. This day came to be known as “Juneteenth,” by the newly freed people in Texas.
Source: National Museum of African American History and Culture. (2020). Historic Legacy of Juneteenth. Retrieved online.
Learn more about the Historic Legacy of Juneteeth by visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture website.
Interested in volunteering?
We have many volunteer opportunities available. Register now!
The Culture & Heritage Festival is made possible by a POWER Grant received from the Appalachian Regional Commission in partnership with the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation.