The Juneteenth Committee Lakeland will host the 31st Annual Observance beginning Saturday, June 17, culminating with its Inaugural Florida Arts and Film Festival in Lakeland on July 1st, 2023. This highly anticipated event commemorates Juneteenth, a significant milestone in African American history, marking the 158 years of emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States.
The festival begins Saturday, June 17th, with the “Juneteenth Wave of Freedom” event, a benefit for Norris Riggs, in Jackson Park from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., adjacent to the Coleman-Bush Blding.
Attendees can enjoy a vibrant atmosphere filled with health stations, information for returning citizens, voter registration, life skills stations, food, music, and various vendors, including an eight year old delicious Lemonade stand. Vendor spaces are available for $30.
Continuing the day’s celebrations, the “Juneteenth Community Observance” takes place from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Coleman-Bush Building (1104 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave). The event includes a Juneteenth program, a special tribute to the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and the Creative Touche’ Salon & Second 2 None Barbershop Hair Show. Crystal’s World Of Dance will deliver an exciting performance. A suggested donation of $10 is requested for admission.
On June 23, 2023, the festival showcases the talents of 9th to 12th-grade students through the “Juneteenth Talent Competition and Art Contest.” Participants can enter the talent competition for a fee of $20, with cash prizes awarded to the top three performers: $500 for the first place, $300 for the second place, and $150 for the third place.
Admission to the talent show is $20 for adults and $10 for children under 12. Additionally, an Art Showcase Contest with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards will be held on the same day at 6 pm at Polk State Lakeland Campus The Technology Building Auditorium (LTB 1100).
On June 24, 2023, the festival will host the “Juneteenth: Salute to African American Scholars & D Nine Brunch” at Polk State College, Lkld. The event begins at 1:00 p.m., and admission is $30 for adults and $15 for youth under 12. This brunch serves as a tribute to African American scholars and their invaluable contributions.
Also, Saturday, June 24, is the exclusive Juneteenth Corvette Car Show from 11:00 AM until 5:00 PM at Lake Mirror Amphitheater, 121 Lake Avenue, Lakeland, FL 33801. There will be music, food, vendors, and raffles. The car show is open to the public.
Closing the festival on July 1st, 2023, is the inaugural “Juneteenth Polk County Film Festival.” From 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., attendees can enjoy a diverse selection of films from Polk State Lakeland Campus, The Technology Building Auditorium (LTB 1100).
The festival concludes with a Q&A session and a reception from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The Juneteenth Florida Arts and Film Festival aims to promote cultural awareness, honor African American history, and provide a platform for artistic expression. We invite the community to join us in this celebration of freedom, diversity, and creativity.
For more information about the Thirty-First Annual Juneteenth Florida Arts and Film Festival, including film schedules and ticket availability, please visit https://www.juneteenthflorida.org
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