Green to headline Juneteenth
From Staff Reports
Friday, April 26, 2019
R&B artist Vivian Green is set to headline this year's Juneteenth Festival.
Green, a national recording artist, has released six albums since her 2003 debut. Her hits include “Emotional Rollercoaster,” “Get Right Back to My Baby” and “I Don’t Know.”
Green will be the headlining act during the 2019 Juneteenth Community Empowerment Festival held May 31 through June 1 in downtown Rocky Mount.
“We are excited to celebrate this moment in history with our community, and we are looking forward to a great weekend of music, culture and fun,” said Kayla Hillman, the city's special events coordinator.
Green has worked with well-known artists including Jill Scott, Jewel, Raheem DeVaughn and Jazmine Sullivan. She is also credited with writing a song for Boyz II Men.
Green will take the stage at 7 p.m. June 1, a Saturday. Her performance will be the finale to a weekend full of fun and entertainment, said Tameka Kenan-Norman, the city's chief communications officer.
The Juneteenth Festival begins 5 p.m. May 31 with a recognition of area A/B Honor Roll students. The Darryl Murrill Group and We Are One Tribute Band will perform during the evening. A variety of offerings will be available from food trucks stationed outside the Imperial Centre for the Arts & Sciences.
The We are One Tribute Band highlights the music of Frankie Beverly and Maze.
A full day of activities begins at 11:45 a.m. June 1 with an opening ceremony and bike rodeo.
Attendees will learn about the significance of Juneteenth, a festival held annually to commemorate the announcement of the abolition of slavery. The first public reading of the Emancipation Proclamation outlawing slavery in the U.S. took place June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas, two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued and enforced the proclamation in 1863.
Galveston was the first community to celebrate Juneteenth with the celebration spreading throughout the U.S.
Musical performances throughout the day include the Mark Green Gospel Group, Soul Jam and Marcus Anderson who played for Prince.
The emcees for Saturday will be comedian Les Long and D-Train. North Edgecombe High School’s Army JROTC and Maj. Melvin Davis, cadet commander, will be a part of the opening ceremony.
Various dancing groups, Mr. Mime and the Tabernacle Church Choir will perform on the second stage throughout the day, while a Kente and Africa drum presentation, Buffalo Soldiers and a Jonkonnu dance group will perform in the main lobby of the Imperial Centre.
Bounce houses will be available for children. Vendors will be available throughout the festival.
Anyone interested in becoming a vendor for the event can call 252-314-7030.