It is that time of year again when we celebrate freedom and family. On Saturday June 16th we will gather on the front lawn of the historic Stringfellow Orchards property for our 7th Annual Juneteenth Family Day.
Activities on June 16th in Hitchcock will begin at 9:25am with a bus tour sponsored by Moody National Bank from Galveston that will stop at Stringfellow Orchards to visit the site and to see the Hitchcock Juneteenth parade. Bus tour guests will then move on to Texas City to visit the 1867 Settlement Community.
The Hitchcock Juneteenth parade will start at 10am at 6333 Hwy 6 and end at Stringfellow Orchards, 7902 Hwy 6. The Hitchcock Juneteenth Committee and East Hitchcock Ministers Association will provide 250 free dinners on a first come first serve basis.
Parade participants and guests are invited to attend the Juneteenth Family Day activities after the parade. After the 250 dinners are served, vendors will be selling dinners. Afternoon activities will start at 1pm.
An added feature this year is a focus on art. "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up"-Pablo Picasso. Professional Artist Ted Ellis, a New Orleans native will be on hand to personally assist 10 people to create their very own Juneteenth painting.
If you purchase a T. Ellis print (at least $20) you will be entered into a drawing to paint with Ted. 10 lucky names will be drawn and the 10 people will be allowed to keep their painting.
Frederick Douglass once said, "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." We are hoping to inspire and build the next generation with an art exhibit that showcases and celebrates freedom.
Sculptor Jonas Perkins has allowed us to display his bust of Frederick Douglass this year at the Juneteenth Family Day event. The bust is valued at $20,000. The entire art exhibit will be valued over $50,000.
The art exhibit is being underwritten by our family and from donations of individuals that support the Juneteenth Family Day event in Hitchcock. Donations can be mailed to Stringfellow Orchards, PO Box 446, Hitchcock, TX 77563 or given at the event.
Melissa Waddy-Thibodueax will return to promote the new railway to freedom “The Underground Reading Railroad”. Melissa will portray several different historic characters including the always crowd favorite Harriet Tubman and others. She will start at 4pm.
My daughter Torin Collins will be our DJ. We have invited some praise dancers and are hoping to have a few solos. My wife Doris is organizing activities for the children. We will have several drop everything and read sessions. If you would like to read to children please come out Saturday June 16th and volunteer.
Each year we try to make our program educational as well as entertaining. We have free books for children to take with them so that they can read at home this summer. We have received book donations from several organizations and a local author.