Juneteenth club prepares for annual event
Organizers of next month’s Juneteenth celebration are hard at work preparing Booker T. Washington Park for what they hope will be a very large crowd to mark the 152nd anniversary of the arrival in Texas of the news that slaves had been liberated.
Booker T. Washington Park’s land extends well beyond the facility’s entrance on FM 3437, the iconic dance hall, which is the two-story structure on stilts, and the large covered slab filled with pews, called the tabernacle.
The park’s total area is about 30 acres, said Dr. Sharon Kirven-Henley, who, with husband Rex Henley, is planning this year’s parade.
Members of the Limestone County Nineteenth of June Organization are using heavy machinery to clear the land across FM 3437 of trees and brush so there will be room for camping and parking vehicles.
“What we’re doing at this stage is we’re deforesting the rest of the park on the other side of FM 3437, making it usable,” Kirven-Henley said. “We expect a larger crowd. We’re going to have trail-riders and RVs, so they’ll need a place to park. We’re going to have a car show and motorcycle events, so with all that traffic, we’re going to need a place for them to park their vehicles, or just to put their animals.
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