A celebration of culture, music and history gets underway at noon today with the Iowa Juneteenth Celebration in a Des Moines park. Gary Lawson is founder and chair of the Iowa celebration. “Juneteenth” dates back to June 19, 1865, when slaves in Galveston, Texas, marked the end of their enslavement.Lawson says the 19th of June is symbolically as important to African-Americans as the 4th of July.This is the 12th annual Iowa Juneteenth Celebration. Musical groups scheduled to perform are from Des Moines, Waterloo and Cedar Rapids. Featured types of music include gospel, blues and rap in addition to dance and drill teams.Other events include basketball and T-ball tournaments and the coronation of the Juneteenth king and queen. Events run from noon to 7 p-m at Des Moines’ Evelyn Davis Park.
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