Juneteenth in the Fruit is set for next week

Published 6:42 am Saturday, June 12, 2021

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This year’s Juneteenth Celebration set for 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. at the Riverfront Pavilion on Division in Orange.

The community of Orange, Texas will host the second annual “Juneteenth in the Fruit” celebration. The celebration will be held on Saturday June 19, 2021 and will display and promote local vendors and performers. The Orange chapter of the NAACP will hold a membership drive. Community members are encouraged to join the NAACP for only $30.

Juneteenth in the Fruit is free admission and open to the public.
Bring lawn chairs, blankets, tents, etc. and shop local vendors while enjoying food and entertainment. A kid fun zone will be included.

“We will have clothing, photographers, fitness and food,” Dylan Bennett said. “We have young entrepreneurs running a lemonade stand.”

Among the food trucks are Wing Junkies, Big Daddy’s Burgers and Mr. Johnny’s Homemade Links.

“We will also have local authors such as Ricky St. Julian and Courtney Zetar,” Bennett said.

With three DJs keeping the music flowing the event is a Juneteenth Family Reuniuon.

“The event is showcasing local talent and showcasing Roland Champagne,” Bennett said.

Five friends decided to make this event a reality.

“All cities that celebrate the Fourth of July should celebrate Juneteenth,” Bennett said. “Seeing that we are 100 miles from Galveston, we are the last free slaves from the emancipation. It is about freedom of people not the country.”

For Dominique Riggs it is also about giving back to the community.

“We grew up here and are successful small business owners,” Riggs said. “The youth see they can give back when they grow up.”

More than celebrating Juneteenth, the event is also about providing services to the community they might not know they need or are available, according to Bennett.

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.  Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19 that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.

General Order Number 3

One of General Granger’s first orders of business was to read to the people of Texas, General Order Number 3 which began most significantly with:

“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer.”

Juneteenth almost always focused on education and self-improvement.

Local businesses and individual who would like to get involved by sponsoring, donating, and/or obtaining a vendor spot may contact Dylan Bennett (dylanfaith@gmail.com) or Dominique Riggs (Dominique_riggs@yahoo.com).