“An effective way to inspire hope and courage in youth of color and the communities they live in is to remind them of the powerful legacy they have inherited and celebrate the culture of life that will sustain them. That is what Juneteenth is all about,” said Olympia Edwards, who is the host of the Juneteenth Freedom Festival, set for June 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lynnwood’s Cedar Valley Community School.
Edwards is founder and CEO of Project Girl Mentoring, aLynnwood-area nonprofit designed to create a safe place for young women of color to become better versions of themselves.
The celebration will be at Cedar Valley Community School, 19200 56th Ave. W., Lynnwood, and will feature a variety of activities for children, families and civic-minded citizens.
Highlighted performances include marching bands, a drum circle, Daughters of Royalty Step Team, Umunezero Rwandan Dance troupe, Zumba and Fitness Hula Hoop demonstrations. Little Mermaid and Princess Tiana characters are expected to make an appearance for the young at heart.
Blood pressure, BMI and cholesterol checks will be available at the mini health fair along with mental health care advocates to answer questions and provide supporting information.
“This is a festival for citizens of all ages and everyone is welcome,” said Edwards, adding that Mayors Christine Frizzell of Lynnwood, Mike Nelson of Edmonds and Keith Scully of Shoreline will provide special remarks on behalf of their cities.
This year’s legal holiday of festivities is being jointly sponsored by Verdant Health Commission, Project Girl Mentoring Program, United Healthcare, City of Lynnwood, Edmonds School District and Lift Every Voice Legacy (LEVL).
Juneteenth – also known as Emancipation Day and Freedom Day – marks the day when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865 and informed the last enslaved outpost of African Americans in the Confederate South that they were no longer under bondage.