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The Burlington Coalition for Dismantling Racism (BCDR) is hosting its third annual Juneteenth Celebration at Echo Lake Park in Burlington this Sunday, June 19. The festivities will kick off at 11 a.m. and go until 4 p.m. Since it’s on Father’s Day, all fathers who attend will also be honored.

Juneteenth is the celebration of the emancipation of enslaved Black people in the United States. The event will have a clear focus on Black Joy. The event will feature various performers, music and activities for children to participate in. Dancers, artists, and musicians will be in attendance too. Community members of all races are invited to join in on the celebration.

Some entertainers at the 3rd Annual Juneteenth Celebration include those who have attended Burlington area schools and those who have lived in the area. You can expect to see Real Jyniuz (Genius), a 26-year-old artist, performer and activist. DJ Alto (Preston Allred) will serve as the DJ of the event. Zack Percell of TNZ Magic returns for the 2nd year in a row. He will perform his magic tricks and put on an entertaining show for people of all ages.

Fun for the whole family

This celebration is family-friendly. There will be an inflatable bounce house and an interactive magic show, face painting, and games for children to participate in.

Local businesses that support the event have generously donated gift baskets, golf packages and silent auction items. Businesses owned by People of Color will be at the event selling their products as well.

“Without the amount of overwhelming support from local businesses and community members, this event wouldn’t be possible,” said BCDR President Laura Bielefeldt. “We have been blown away by the outpouring of support to bring this event back to the Burlington community year after year. This sends an incredibly important message to the community overall but especially to families of color who live here.”

In addition to the fun activities, Big Daddy’s BBQ & Soul Food, a black-owned business from Milwaukee, will be serving rib tips, pulled pork, brats and more. Los Compadres from Burlington will also be selling food. Burlington’s Low Daily Brewery will be serving beer. Nestlé from Burlington is supplying free chocolate chip cookies and Starbucks will be providing free iced coffee and iced tea to attendees.

Drinks and other concession items will also be available from other local partners supporting the event.

Racial concerns in Burlington

“As a holiday with strong racial justice roots, BCDR’s Juneteenth event will also include a community call to action to push for change right here in Burlington,” said the BCDR.

The BCDR actively works to expose, disrupt, and dismantle racism and racist systems while simultaneously rebuilding the Burlington community. In May of 2021, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) issued a scathing report citing the Burlington School district’s “racially hostile environment” and required the district to develop a corrective action plan.

“We are now one year out from DPI’s ruling and we still have a long way to go,” said Bielefeldt. The organization encourages people to use their allyship to push forward.

Call to Action

Now, they are using Juneteenth as a way to encourage community members to share their stories and to contact the Burlington School district.

“Families are experiencing unresolved complaints; there are no clear next steps for the equity audit; and the future of the community equity team is unknown. We need to continue pushing the district to make progress” explained Bielefeldt.

In addition to taking action with the school district, attendees are welcome to join the coalition. Fill out an application to join and continue the efforts of BCDR.

More details about the organization can be found on their website or by visiting their Facebook page for updates and more information. You can see the Juneteenth event page here.

More on Juneteenth

Soija Cameron crowned Miss Juneteenth 2022

Soija Cameron, a Racine resident, has been named Miss Juneteenth 2022. The Case High School graduate earned herself the crown and the title on June 11. Ava Collier-White, a Prairie High School graduate, was the 1st runner-up. The Miss Juneteenth pageant took place at the Dr. John Bryant Center, 601 Caron Butler Way, after a…


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