Attendees from Missouri City and all across the Greater Houston area gathered at the Quail Valley City Centre on June 6th to help the Missouri City Juneteenth Celebration Foundation (MCJCF) kick-off their eleventh year of celebrating Juneteenth at the VIP Stakeholders Reception. The MCJCF is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization and is the largest Juneteenth celebration entity of its kind in the nation.
At the kick-off celebration, the MCJCF announced their weeklong line-up of Texas-sized family related events and activities beginning with the VIP Stakeholders Reception this past Thursday and going through June 15th with most events free and open to the general public. Thousands of attendees and participants are expected to join in the citywide celebration of Juneteenth in Missouri City.
“Last year was our biggest and best celebration to date... we anticipate this year’s celebration will be even better,” said Don Smith, MCJCF founder and current Missouri City, TX, City Councilman. “Our goal remains to bring positive attention to African–Americans while celebrating the Emancipation Proclamation.”
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is a holiday in the United States that commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. state of Texas on June 19, 1865. Although President Abraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, Texas, as a part of the Confederacy, was resistant to the Emancipation Proclamation. Union General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas on June 18, 1865 and on June 19, 1865, informed the people that all slaves were free.
The VIP Kick-Off Reception featured the robust, tantalizing flavors of Germany wines coupled with the culinary delicacies of Chef Ken Lewis. Light remarks from supporters, elected officials and board members highlighted the reception.
Among those in attendance were MCJCF founder Don Smith and his wife; Missouri City Mayor Allen Owen; State Representative Ron Reynolds; Fort Bend County Commissioner Grady Prestage; Missouri City Councilman Danny Nguyen; Missouri City Councilman Floyd Emery; Missouri City Councilman Robin Elackatt; Constable Ruben Davis; Judge Joel Clouser; Cary P. Yates and his wife Judge Clarease Yates; Missouri City Council Candidate Yolanda Ford; Clarence “Doc” Holliday; Loveless Mitchell; and many more.
Other events during the week-long celebration include the Annual MCJCF “Scholarship” Golf Tournament; the Community Service Awards Gala which recognizes community leaders who exemplify conviction, purpose and enthusiasm as responsible citizens in the community; Family Fun Day in the Park; the “One Mile of Smiles” Juneteenth Parade; and the Battle of the High School Bands.