Community event producers are joining forces to produce the first JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION WEEKEND, June 17, 18, 19, in downtown Shreveport. The diverse partners include Rho Omega & Friends and the “Let The Good Times Roll Festival,” Envision Media & Marketing, KaDavien Baylor, the North Louisiana Juneteenth Coalition, and Poetic X.
Facilitation of the downtown weekend events is coordinated by the City of Shreveport – Shreveport Public Assembly & Recreation, Parish of Caddo, and the Shreveport Regional Arts Council.
Mayor Adrian Perkins proclaims, “The 2022 Juneteenth Partnership coalesces community programming to create the most dynamic, diverse, inclusive, educational, engaging, and entertaining JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION in the nation.”
The Let The Good Times Roll Festival is celebrating its 35th year as the city’s official Juneteenth Celebration event. The festival is widely regarded as one of the largest Juneteenth events in the nation. Rho Omega & Friends produces the annual three day festival that features headliner performer Chris Ardoin.
Starting off the Shreveport Juneteenth Celebration Weekend on Thursday, June 16 is the Shreveport-Bossier African American Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet, held at Sam’s Town Casino. Limited tickets are available for $75 each on Eventbrite.
Public events throughout the weekend include the Opening Parade on Friday, June 17 from Commerce Street to Crockett Street and into Festival Plaza, themed, “Ain’t Nothing Stopping Us” and produced by the North Louisiana Juneteenth Coalition. Lucky parade- goers will receive commemorative throws and the Opening Ceremony will be held in Festival Plaza following the parade.
The weekend will be full of events produced by Rho Omega & Friends, as well as the ‘art-ish Arts Market Exhibition, and performances at The Lot produced by Envision Media & Marketing. In addition, the first Juneteenth Mural by artist KaDavien Baylor will be unveiled, along with a spoken word presentation by Caddo Parish Poet Laureate Poetic X.
Sci-Port Discovery Center will offer free admission on Saturday, June 18. Festival goers are invited to stop in for a cool trip through the renowned STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) hands-on exhibits.
Throughout the three day weekend, there will be exhibits of the “Portraits of Juneteenth” produced by the North Louisiana Juneteenth Coalition. The portraits, each with testimonials about the importance of JUNETEENTH, will be placed along the parade route, at the festival, and at The LOT where ‘artish takes place.
JUNETEENTH commemorates the effective end of slavery in the United States. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared more than three million slaves living in the Confederate states to be free. More than two years would pass, however, before the news reached African Americans living in Texas. It was not until Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, that the state’s residents finally learned that slavery had been abolished. The former slaves immediately began to celebrate with prayer, feasting, song, and dance. Juneteenth is also called Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Black Independence Day. It became a national holiday in 2021; the City of Shreveport and Parish of Caddo are recognizing the Juneteenth holiday on Friday, June 17, 2022.
Caddo Parish Commissioner Steven Jackson, whose district spans throughout downtown Shreveport, encouraged groups to come together to plan a collaborative weekend that demonstrates the unity of the community and supports both the education and entertainment surrounding the Holiday.
Commissioner Jackson congratulated the consortium of organizations noting that, “When groups work together they have the power to create something much larger than what each organization could possibly prepare on its own. We have the capacity to make the Caddo/Shreveport JUNETEENTH commemoration the largest and most impactful in the nation.”
The Juneteenth GLO on the Bakowski Bridge of Lights debuts at dusk on Friday, June 17 and continues through Monday night, June 20. The design is by Jason Lyons, the Residency Artist for the LIGHT IT UP Educational Program created by the Shreveport Regional Arts Council, hosted by Sci-Port.
A free trolley will run to and from ‘art-ish and the Let The Good Times Roll Festival from 4:00 pm – 11:00 pm, Saturday, June 18.
Schedule of Events
Thursday, June 16:
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Shreveport-Bossier African American Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet, – Sam’s Town; Tickets are $75 on Eventbrite.
Friday, June 17:
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm – OPENING PARADE, “Ain’t No Stopping Us!” -Commerce Street to Crockett Street and into Festival Plaza; floats will continue to Clyde Fant Blvd. There is a “Grand Stand Area for Seniors and Performances.
5:30 pm – OPENING CEREMONY for JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION WEEKEND –Festival Plaza
- National Anthems
- Attorney Felicia M. Hamilton, National Anthem
- Charita Hagans, African American National Anthem
- City Councilwoman – LeVette Fuller
- Port City Band Performs
- Drayden Dunn – ‘art-ish Line Up
- Fred Moss and Vencil Holmes – Line Up for LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL FEST
- Poetic X – Juneteenth Spoken Word
- Mayor Perkins – (Grand Marshal – Opening the JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION WEEKEND
6:00 pm – OPENING of LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL Festival! ZYDECO NIGHT!
9:15 pm – Juneteenth Glo Show on the Bakowski Bridge of Lights on the Texas Street Bridge
Saturday, June 18:
7:30 AM – 12:30 PM: FARMERS’ MARKET and LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL HEALTH FAIR – @ Festival Plaza
8 AM: 2nd Annual “FREEDOM RIDE” – Juneteenth Bike Ride – Meet up @ The Lot at 8 AM. Ride starts at 9:15 AM. Route is approximately 6 miles. Cost for the ride is $33. You can learn more or register for rentals by clicking here.
9:00 AM – LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL RUN – starts @ Festival Plaza
12:00 noon – 10:00 pm: ‘art-ish by Envision Media & Marketing – $5 admission @ The Lot and completion of JUNETEENTH MURAL by KaDavien Baylor with Poetic X @ Edwards St.
Transportation from ‘art-ish to LTGTRF from 4:00 pm – 11:00 pm
4:00 PM – 12:00 MIDNIGHT – LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL FESTIVAL @ Festival Plaza
9:20 PM – FIREWORKS AND JUNETEENTH “GLO” on the Bakowski Bridge of Lights on the Texas Street Bridge
Saturday, June 18:
“FREE ADMISSION” DAY at Sci-Port!
The Shreveport Aquarium is open – Reservations are Advised, but Walk-Ins are accommodated as available.
Sunday, June 19:
4:00 PM – MIDNIGHT LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL FESTIVAL
Photo courtesy of Let the Good Times Roll Facebook Page.