Red Wing is hosting a first ever Juneteenth event on June 19 in Central Park. .
Juneteenth is also known as “Freedom Day” and is the oldest celebrated commemoration for the end of slavery that is celebrated nationally in the United States. Juneteenth was officially made a national holiday in 2021.
The Human Rights Commission planned and organized this event. At the first-time Red Wing celebration, there will be activities and performances as well as information and history about Juneteenth.
Vice Chair for the Human Rights Commission Michael Lickness Holmes said, “We’ll be presenting some history about Juneteenth and have resources and information about some prominent members of the Black community in Red Wing.”
“I don’t think many people know about some of the prominent figures we have had in Red Wing. Where the Salvation Army is currently used to be the spot of the first Black-owned meat market in the state of Minnesota,” Lickness Holmes said.
The Human Rights Commission organized the event as a way to educate the community on the origins of the national holiday as well as educating community members on the many resources Red Wing has to offer.
“There will be different resources available, Hope Coalition will have a resource table, Youth Outreach will have a resource table and just so many different organizations that people will be able to interact with,” Lickness Holmes said.
During the event, the community is encouraged to learn more about the Black history that is a large part of Red Wing’s past.
“People’s eyes are being opened, and people are more willing to step outside their bubble and learn more about this history,” Lickness Holmes said.
“I think the fact that we are acknowledging more minorities and ethnic groups has become a domino effect, and this is opening people’s eyes to the contributions ethnic groups have brought here to Red Wing,” he continued.
The Human Rights Commission has worked in collaboration with the Goodhue Historical Society to provide information and create visuals that talk about the different contributions from the Black community in Red Wing.
There will be free food for the first 200 people in attendance and a raffle every 30 minutes throughout the day. The event will be held from noon until 4 p.m. on June 19.