Watertown Juneteenth Celebration inviting performing artists to submit virtual messages


WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — To celebrate the now, New York State recognized holiday, Juneteenth, members of the North Country are invited to a virtual celebration.

The Watertown Juneteenth Celebration will take a new spin on its usual in-person gathering in 2021. The event is inviting local and surrounding area artists and speakers to send in videos, to “gather” virtually.

This call for performing artists includes poets, musicians, dancers and narrators. Those interested are asked to call for an interview and event link prior to recording their performance. All material must be suitable for all ages.

According to event organization, surprise guests, both national and international, will be share “virtual greetings” and stories during the 2021 celebration.

Additionally, the 2021 Juneteenth “virtual” guest speaker is Author, Historian and International lecturer C.R. Gibbs. Gibbs was noted as a respected researcher and has appeared on the History Channel and French and Belgian television. Gibbs also wrote and narrated “Sketches in Color,” a 13-part companion to the acclaimed PBS TV series, “The Civil War.”

Joining Gibbs will include a surprise cast of musicians and poets from New York, Georgia, California, Michigan and Jamaica. Musical guests will include the wind and beat percussion group Weusi Ensemble, The Ladies from Watertown, California Poet Obbie West and more.

Juneteenth commemorates the ending of slavery in America. The specific date of Juneteenth, June 19th, stands for when Union troops arrived in Texas with the message that all those enslaved were free in 1865.

The Watertown celebration is running on its 8th year, as it was started in 2014 and had to cancel events in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was founded by Fort Drum soldiers, veterans, church and community members, when the group held a free program at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Watertown, New York.

Those interested in submitting a virtual performance are asked to call 315- 775-4065.

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