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Published on June 14, 2024
Memphis to Celebrate Juneteenth with Festivals and Cultural Events in Historic Health Science Park and BeyondSource: Google Street View

The city of Memphis is set to host its annual Juneteenth Festival, inviting residents to join in a weekend-long commemoration at the Health Science Park. According to Action News 5, festivities will be in full swing from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with a diverse array of local vendors, food trucks, and health and wellness providers. Juneteenth, the historic day marking the end of slavery, has been magnified in prominence since it was declared a federal holiday in 2021.

Health Sciences Park, known for its controversial statue of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest which was removed, has been chosen as the festival's ground to reflect its resonance with the freedom movement. Dr. Telisa Franklin, described by FOX13 Memphis as the festival's president and CEO, emphasized, "This park represents freedom. And now because of that, we're the only Juneteenth in the world that has a Juneteenth celebration on a park where there was once buried the slave masters of the KKK."

Meanwhile, the festivities are sparking enthusiasm throughout Memphis with various events scheduled for the weekend. The Juneteenth Douglass Freedom and Heritage Festival, mentioned by WREG, will run concurrently at Douglass Park, featuring activities dedicated to youth on Friday and continuing through Sunday. Additionally, the Orange Mound Community Center will host a festival on Saturday, shedding light on the history of the holiday and the local community.

Memphis citizens also have a wealth of alternative activities to choose from, including the Philippine Fiesta at the Agricenter which boasts cultural performances and traditional cuisine and, the Water Lantern Festival at Shelby Farms Park where attendees can release floating lanterns with wishes. With Father’s Day on the horizon, Memphis Riverboats is offering a special cruise complete with a live blues and jazz band. Event details, including times and ticket prices for these events, have been outlined by WREG in their roundup of weekend happenings.