Juneteenth: Celebrate freedom for all in the Poconos, Lehigh Valley
June 19 will mark the observance of Juneteenth, a federal holiday celebrating Emancipation Day and freedom from slavery for all.
The Sherman Theater and the African American Network of the Poconos will present the 20th Annual Juneteenth Freedom Festival in Courthouse Square, Stroudsburg, from 2 to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Greater Shiloh Church will perform the Opening Ceremony with song and dance.
Live music will be performed throughout the day from 2nd Street Players, The Contact Collective and Rico Anthony – Pump Yuh Flag. Gynesis Radio will provide music between the bands.
Additional entertainment from the 40 Double Dutch Club, Eleve Dance Theater with African and other dance demonstrations, William Abbott, Puppeteer, with his friend, Miss Biddy, and more.
Admission to the Juneteenth Freedom Festival is free to the public. For more information, head to shermantheater.com/event/juneteenth-freedom-festival.
In Smithfield Township, Eastern Monroe Public Library looks to celebrate the sounds of Africa on Juneteenth.
The library’s popular BookHouse series continues on at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Library of the Smithfields, in Echo Lake Park, 5200 Milford Rd. (Rt. 209), East Stroudsburg, outdoors at the pavilion. The event will feature African Drummer Maxwell Kofi Donkor and Sankofa.
Maxwell Kofi Donkor first learned the skills essential to a drummer at his grandfather’s knee, in his native village, Otumi, located in Ghana, West Africa.
As a teenager, he was commissioned, like many Ghanaian youths, to carry on the traditions of his ancestors and performed for a number of years with the Folklore Ensemble of Ghana. He became a master drummer before he graduated from the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana, where his studies focused on his nation’s culture, sculpture, rural art, and industry. His educational study, combined with his life-long exposure to the music and culture of his Asante village, gave him a uniquely comprehensive grasp of traditional African daily life.https://1e0668c2af89b9ce8518c8a5820b94cf.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
Since his arrival to the United States, Kofi has been teaching the arts to children as well as adults.
According to a press release, the type of drumming that Kofi does not only “penetrates the body, mind, soul, and spirit, but also brings a balance into a person’ it is, in fact, the heartbeat of humanity, balancing the negative and positive energies of the everyday hectic life in the community.”Your stories live here.Fuel your hometown passion and plug into the stories that define it.Create Account
Kofi’s award-winning artwork includes the 1985 Best Sculpture award at the GIFTEX International Trade Fair, in Ghana, Africa and the Pennsylvania Council on the Eastern Monroe Public Library. For further information on Kofi’s work visit bak2roots.com.
Be sure to bring chairs or blankets for seating. The event will be relocated to the community room inside the Smithfield Township building, should inclement weather arise.
Admission is free, but donations are accepted. Refreshments will be available for a small charge.
Worth the drive: Nearby Juneteenth celebrations
Lehigh Valley to celebrate Juneteenth
The city of Allentown will host its own Juneteenth Celebration on Sunday, featuring “soul food, vendors, ‘flick & float'” sports and fireworks. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. at Cedar Beach Park, 2600 Parkway Boulevard in Allentown.
The Sigal Museum, 342 Northampton Street, Easton, will offer free admission Monday for the Juneteenth holiday. A temporary exhibition titled Another American’s Autobiography: Selections from the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art explore “American patriotism and identity as it relates to the Black American experience” according to a press release. Learn more online sigalmuseum.org/event/juneteenth-free-admission.
Head to the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor for an African-American History Walk on Sunday. Participants can indulge in a leisurely stroll, just under 3 miles on flat terrain, at Tinicum Park, 963 River Road, Upper Black Eddy, from 3 to 5 p.m. The cost is $10 per person, D&L members receive 50% off. Reservations are required, learn more online at canals.org/product/african-american-history-walk. Rain date June 26.
Cross the New York border from the Poconos
The Farm Arts Collective is hosting a Vegan Soul Food Workshop at the Narrowsburg Farmers Market, 7 Erie Avenue Narrowsburg, New York, at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Human rights activist and Farm Arts Collective performer Adrienne Jensen will teach recipes and discuss the significance of Juneteenth, and the African American struggle for freedom, according to a press release.
Jensen will demonstrate the preparation of favorite family receipes using vegan and farm fresh ingredients. Workshop participants will be able to share the food prepared. The workshop is free, but donations are appreciated.
Register for the workshop online at FarmArtsCollective.org.
At 11:30 a.m. join the community for a Juneteenth celebration in Monticello. A parade, featuring Farm Arts Collective stilt walkers, will kick off festivities at the police station on Pleasant Street at head down Broadway. Activities and entertainment will continue the celebration outside the library. For more information, go to sullivan180.org/event/juneteenth-2022-celebration.