RACINE — Racine’s annual Juneteenth Day Celebration will once again be a special day honoring community, culture and freedom.
This year’s day-long event entitled “Seeing is Believing” is taking place from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 15, on the grounds of the Dr. John Bryant Community Center, 601 21st St., and will feature a full lineup of performances, games as well a basketball clinic by hometown hero, NBA veteran and media personality Caron Butler.
“This will be the biggest and most significant Juneteenth Celebration yet,” said Butler. “It will showcase black excellence at its finest. This is about living well, having fun, and appreciating everything and everyone. We are going to have a beautiful time.”
Butler will be leading a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open a new basketball court known as a “Dream Court,” which will also include a playground and two other courts to be built soon. Butler first picked up a basketball at the Bryant Center at age 5 and has since used his platform as a 15-year NBA veteran, entrepreneur and philanthropist to uplift his community.
“This event is about community coming together,” continued Butler. “Everyone involved with the Center, the city and the citizens of Racine have their mark on this important day. I am so proud to be in a position to be able to host a basketball clinic and officially open the first Dream Court during a day that means so much. I played basketball all over the country, but there is no place like home.”
The staff at the Bryant Center is supporting the free event and are putting significant resources behind it to make it unlike anything they have done before.
“Park, Recreation & Cultural Services is pleased to work with Caron Butler to bring the first Dream Court to a park that is home to Caron Butler and the Dr. John Bryant Community Center,” said Tom Molbeck, director of Racine Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services. “I see the Dream Court used heavily by youth and adults and the Juneteenth Celebration is the perfect place to introduce it to the community. We look forward to working with Caron on future projects.”
What is Juneteenth Day?
Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day, is an American holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas, and more generally the emancipation of enslaved African Americans throughout the former Confederate States of America. Its name is a portmanteau of "June" and "nineteenth," the date of its celebration. Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in 45 states.
These free workshops will be offered:
- "Success Uncensored: How to Achieve Success in Your Mind, Body, and Soul," 11 a.m.-noon. Keita Joy, life coach, author and motivational speaker, will present a growth and mindset health clinic on living a successful and fulfilling life. Joy is a member of the Forbes Coaches Council and author of “Fabulous & Faithful” and “100 Ways to Stay Married.” Advance registration is required by calling 262-636-9235.
- "Making Wise Choices," a workshop for teens, 12:30-2:30 p.m. Participants will receive a sport-pack (while supplies last), along with a chance to win prizes and gift cards. Presented by the Racine Kenosha Community Action Agency.
Juneteenth Day will feature vendors offering food, clothing and art vendors, various styles of music including gospel choirs, pony rides, a bounce house and face painting.
The full schedule for the day and performers are:
- Caron Butler Basketball Clinic, 9 a.m.
- Wellness Clinic with Dr. Keita Joy, 11 a.m.
- Basketball games & Children’s Corner, noon.
- Gospel Explosion with choirs from across the city, noon.
- Dream Court Ribbon Cutting, 3 p.m.
- Hip Hop performances, 4 p.m.
- Rhythm and blues performances, 5:30 p.m.
There is no admission fee to the festival.