Juneteenth Festival Features Celebrations of Music

Bring your dancing shoes for three days of great music and fun throughout the county in celebration of Juneteenth. Money raised during the events will enable Scotland A.M.E. Zion Church in Potomac to rebuild and expand following intensive storm damage.

Events begin June 17 at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Club with a Motown and Oldies concert and dance party.

More than 20 acts across four venues highlight the festivities, including a Juneteenth’s Got Talent music and dance performances at Cabin John Village in Potomac and a Freedom Day Concert at the Anthem theater at the wharf in D.C. featuring Tarrus Riley and Wyclef Jean.

Other events include a Family 5K run or walk at Bells Mills Elementary School in Potomac, an interfaith worship service and breakfast June 18 in Gaithersburg and a June 19 baseball game at Povich Field in Rockville.

Juneteenth is a federal holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger proclaimed freedom for all slaves in Texas. That was about 18 months after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.

“Come show us it is Freedom Day,” declared Festival Chair Latisha Gasaway-Paul, a descendant of William Dove who founded the Scotland community.

About $3 million has been raised for the church and another $3 million has been promised by Emily and Mitch Rales, cofounders of Glenstone Museum in Potomac.

For location, times and ticket prices, go to www.juneteenthscotland.org.

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