Longview to host Juneteenth community events over 2 weekends

The City of Longview is planning two weekends of community events in celebration of Juneteenth.
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 3:48 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - The City of Longview is planning two weekends of community events in celebration of Juneteenth.

Longview has a long history of community fun in recognition of the national holiday, and this year they’re taking it a step further. The city’s Director of Community Destinations Shawn Hara said that they wanted to stretch the celebrations across two weekends to fit even more events than normal.

The events slated for June 10 are a basketball tournament at 10 a.m. and small business exposition at 1 p.m., both at Broughton Recreation Center. The business expo was announced as an opportunity for businesses to showcase and sell their wares.

The weekend of Juneteenth will have events on Friday, June 16, and Saturday, June 17. On Friday, the city plans for a hot air balloon presentation at 7 a.m. at Foster Middle School and a dedication ceremony for a portion of the Guthrie Creek Trail in recognition of Frank “Penny” Edwards. On Saturday, there will be a hot air balloon presentation at 7 a.m., a softball tournament at 9 a.m. at Hinsley Park, the Juneteenth Parade, and a Picnic in the Park event at the Broughton Recreation Center.

Speaking of hot air balloons, Juneteenth will be on the same weekend as the Great Texas Balloon Race, a long-standing tradition in the Longview area. The event will be held from June 12 through June 18, and several events were planned to coincide with Juneteenth to incorporate Longview tradition into the holiday.

“In Longview, we’re kind of known for our connection to hot air balloons,” Hara said. “So to be able to have that event taking place at the Longview Convention Complex (Maude Cobb), and being able to tie it in with the Juneteenth activities is really special. I think it really ties in to the fabric of who we are here in Longview.”

According to Hara, the Juneteenth Parade will start at 10 a.m. on MLK Jr. Blvd. just south of I-20, and travel all the way to Foster Middle School. The festivities will then move on to Broughton Recreation Center, where the Picnic in the Park will carry on until 6 p.m.

Hara recommended that Longview residents give input on what celebrations they’d like to see during future Juneteenth events. If you have ideas you’d like to share, you can visit their website or reach out to Dietrich Johnson, the Director of Community Services.