“Black history is part of American history,” said Broadview Mayor Katrina R. Thompson, as she talked about the importance of the upcoming Juneteenth Festival of Freedom celebration.
The celebration starts on Friday June 16 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with the Broadview Resident Meet and Greet, giving the feel of a traditional family reunion, said Thompson. On Saturday, June 17, the village will have its Festival of Freedom from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. with headliner West End 40, a band with a diverse blend of R&B, jazz, gospel and more. West End 40 will be taking the stage at around 5 p.m.
And on Sunday, the village will celebrate the 50 years of hip-hop, which includes a firework show and a performance from Soul to the Bone.
“June is Black Music Month,” Thompson said. “I love hip-hop music but it is not just hip-hop music that is going to be played. It is going to be all the songs that have been played throughout for African Americans and that is exciting because now we get to hear the Motown, or blues, or jazz.”
Sunday will also host a morning worship outside, which Thompson said will be a lot of fun for participants.
“It brings joy to my heart that we can celebrate something through music,” Thompson said.
Celebration is really the theme of the event, as dads will be able to celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday and enjoy a cigar and whiskey tent at the event.
For Thompson, hosting the Juneteenth Festival is a way of acknowledging the Black culture and the contributions their history has on American history.
“It’s important that we educate and inform and bring awareness to the Black community,” Thompson said. “We have a culture too and we should honor that and respect that space.”
As a Black leader, Thompson said it was important to her to continue to carry on the conversations relating to things that impact the Black community, including their culture and support for one another.
“As we look at how we recycle our own dollars in the Black community, how we embrace with love and kindness, how we support each other, not just in local business but for each other,” Thompson said. “In government, in our education system. We should be talking about these things.”
Thompson, who will be at the event, said she is looking forward to supporting the local vendors and small businesses which will be participating in the festivities.
“Entrepreneurship and economic development is a big deal and how we get our homebased businesses or our small business to the next level, we should be highlighting that,” Thompson said. “I am excited for that.”
Celebrations for the 3rd Annual Juneteenth Festival will take place at Schroeder Park with free parking available on the west side of the Target Store in Broadview Village Square.