LYNN — The 2nd Annual Lynn Juneteenth Celebration is taking over the Lynn Common this Saturday.
“What the celebration behind this day means is even after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed on January 1, 1863, slave owners didn’t tell the slaves they were free,” said Wendy Joseph, co-chair of the Lynn Douglass 200th bicentennial committee. “The last slave wasn’t free until June 19 of that year.”
The free event will be from 1-5 p.m. right near the bandstand going toward Market Basket. Face-painting, a magic show, a variety of 12 vendors to purchase goods from, and donated food from Brother’s Deli from Lynn and BT’s BBQ from Melrose will be provided during the celebration.
“I’m from Lynn and I’ve never seen anything here that celebrates African-American culture,” said Nicole Mcclain, founder of the Juneteenth committee in Lynn.
Jah Jah Drummers, spoken poets from KIPP Academy, a DJ, and two R&B performing acts will be in attendance as well. Two locals, Holly Langley and King Asiatic, will be honored during the event for their years of service to the Lynn community with speeches given by loved ones and plaques to be given out.
A bake-off will also be a part of the celebration and Mcclain is asking anyone who wants to participate to show up at 2 p.m. the day of the event with their baked goods. Two caveats to entering are paying a fee of $10 and only using King Arthur flour, given they are responsible for sponsoring it. Tasting of the baked goods will begin at 3 p.m. by a number of local judges.
“It’s important to celebrate this because of the negative stereotypes around African Americans,” said Mcclain. “The event will be a diversity education for the community because we’re not all one thing, not good nor bad, and there are many aspects of the African-American culture that will be represented there.”