Scotland Community Preparing Festivities, Fundraising on Juneteenth

A three-day Juneteenth celebration featuring music, a day of service, races, classic car show, baseball game and film festival is being readied for June 17-19.

The proceeds from the events, as well as other fundraising efforts, will be used to rebuild Scotland A.M.E. Zion Church, whose foundation on Seven Locks Road in Potomac was destroyed during an extreme rainstorm in the summer of 2019.

A preview of the events was held April 21. Since 1968, the historic neighborhood by the church has celebrated this date as Groundbreaking Day. That was when the last inhabitants of the once-sprawling African American community were assured that the community would not be razed. Instead, 100 new homes were built on the site.

LaTisha Gasaway-Paul, a descendant William Dove who founded the Scotland community, is the festival chair. She emceed the preview events in a parking lot next to the Betty Carol Thompson Scotland Neighborhood Recreation Center.

So far, $2.8 million has been raised for the church and another $3 million has been promised by Emily and Mitch Rales, cofounders of Glenstone Museum.

County Executive Marc Elrich spoke of the importance of revitalizing the Scotland community, declaring the Juneteenth festival “should be as important as the Fourth of July.”

The festival opens June 17 with a celebration at Bethesda Blues & Jazz Club. It continues on June 18 with events at Cabin John Regional Park and Black Rock Arts Center.

On June 19, events will be held at Cabin John Mall, Bells Mills Elementary School, the AFI Theater and Povich Field. The events end with a Scotland Freedom Day Concert featuring Tarrus Riley at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. Check here for the schedule and other information.

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