Dancer Prescylia Mae, of Houston, performs during a dedication ceremony for the mural “Absolute Equality” in downtown Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 2021. Recognition of Juneteenth, the effective end of slavery in the U.S., gained traction after the police killing of George Floyd in 2020. But after an initial burst of action, the movement to have it recognized as an official holiday in the states has largely stalled. (Stuart Villanueva / The Galveston County Daily News)

Dancer Prescylia Mae, of Houston, performs during a dedication ceremony for the mural “Absolute Equality” in downtown Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 2021. Recognition of Juneteenth, the effective end of slavery in the U.S., gained traction after the police killing of George Floyd in 2020. But after an initial burst of action, the movement to have it recognized as an official holiday in the states has largely stalled. (Stuart Villanueva / The Galveston County Daily News)

Juneteenth event set for Twin Lakes

Fundraiser to feature special ‘1865’ hot dogs

The Black Awareness Association of Juneau is celebrating Juneteenth this year with a fundraiser picnic at Twin Lakes Park on Sunday, June 19.

“We’re hoping for sunshine so everybody can come and have a good time,” said Sherry Patterson, head of the Juneau BAA.

The BAA has held Juneteenth events in the past Patterson said, but not since before the COVID-19 pandemic, and this is the first year the group has held an event since June 19 became recognized as a federal holiday.

“We couldn’t not do something for the community,” Patterson said.

Sunday’s event will feature hot dogs from Blumen Dogs, Patterson said, including a specially-made “1865 Dog” to celebrate Juneteenth.

Juneteenth is a celebration of the liberation of Black Americans from institutional slavery following the passage of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1865. Celebrations for the holiday originated in Texas in 1866 and the state officially recognized the day in 1979.

Alaska recognized Juneteenth as a holiday in 2001, in a bill with co-sponsorship from Lisa Murkowski, at the time a Representative from Anchorage in the Alaska House of Representatives, as well as state Sen. Donny Olson, D-Golovin, who is still a member of the Alaska State Legislature.

“African Americans have been celebrating this holiday for years, especially in Texas,” Patterson said. “But for the nation to recognize it is significant.”

[Updated results show no change to primary ranking]

In addition to hot dogs, Coppa ice cream and sweet potato pies will be for sale, Patterson said, and the Northern Tea House will be serving boba tea. Proceeds from the fundraiser will go to the Black Excellence Scholarship Fund, Patterson said.

Downtown shop Annie Kaill’s will donate 10% of their sales from Sunday to the fundraiser, according to the Juneau BAA.

This year Juneteenth is the same day as Father’s Day, and Patterson said the picnic will run from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. to give people time for other events that day, including Gold Rush Days.

Patterson said speakers are still being arranged, but the picnic will contain an educational component about Juneteenth.

In 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act officially designation June 19, as a federal holiday. That bill was passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate and received only 14 nays in the U.S. House of Representatives, all Republican, though the late Don Young was not among them.

Juneteenth celebrations found renewed focus during the civil rights movement of the mid-20th century, according to a Harvard historian Henry Louis Gates Jr.

“As is well-known, Martin Luther King Jr. had been planning a return to the site of his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech in Washington, this time to lead a Poor People’s March emphasizing nagging class inequalities,” Gates wrote for the website the Root. “Following his assassination, it was left to others to carry out the plan, among them his best friend, the Rev. Ralph Abernathy, and his widow, Coretta Scott King. When it became clear that the Poor People’s March was falling short of its goals, the organizers decided to cut it short on June 19, 1968, well aware that it was now just over a century since the first Juneteenth celebration in Texas.”

Know and Go

What: Black Awareness Association of Juneau Juneteenth picnic

When: Sunday, June 19, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Where: Twin Lakes Park, 3401-3499 Glacier Highway.

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at psegall@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.

More in News

Aurora Forecast

Forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute for the week of Feb. 5

Folks at the Alaska State Capitol openly admit to plenty of fish tales, but to a large degree in ways intended to benefit residents and sometimes even the fish. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The bizarre bills other state legislatures are considering

Alaska’s Legislature isn’t mulling the headline-grabbers some statehouses have in the works.

This photo shows snow-covered hills in the Porcupine River Tundra in the Yukon Territories, Canada. In July 1997, a hunter contacted troopers in Fairbanks, Alaska, and reported finding a human skull along the Porcupine River, around 8 miles (13 kilometers) from the Canadian border. Investigators used genetic genealogy to help identify the remains as those of Gary Frank Sotherden, according to a statement Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, from Alaska State Troopers. (AP Photo / Rick Bowmer)
Skull found in ‘97 in Interior belongs to New York man

A skull found in a remote part of Alaska’s Interior in 1997… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Officer William Hicks stands with JPD Chief Ed Mercer and Deputy Chief David Campbell during a swearing in ceremony for Hicks on Thursday at the JPD station in Lemon Creek. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)
New officer joins JPD’s ranks

The Juneau Police Department welcomed a new officer to its ranks Thursday… Continue reading

These photos show Nova, a 3-year-old golden retriever, and the illegally placed body hold trap, commonly referred to as a Conibear trap, that caught her while walking near Outer Point Trail last week. (Courtesy / Jessica Davis)
Dog narrowly survives rare illegally placed trap in Juneau

State wildlife officials outlined what to do if found in similar situation

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Public defender agency to refuse some cases, citing staffing

ANCHORAGE — A state agency that represents Alaskans who cannot afford their… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police: Gift card scam connected to hoax Fred Meyer threats

This article has been moved in front of the Empire’s paywall. A… Continue reading

This is a concept design drawing that was included in the request for proposal sent out by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities seeking outside engineering and design services to determine whether it’s feasible to build a new ferry terminal facility in Juneau at Cascade Point. (Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities)
DOT takes steps toward potential Cascade Point ferry terminal facility

It would accommodate the Tazlina and or Hubbard, shorten trips to Haines and Skagway

Most Read