NWA & River Valley prep for a weekend of Juneteenth fun


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley are gearing up for a weekend-long Juneteenth celebration. The organizers talk about what those celebrations will look like and which events are can’t miss.

“What a wonderful day in America,” said Mayor of Fort Smith George McGill. “It gives us a chance to highlight our history, the good and the bad. But also those that believe in a bright future for our nation, for our towns, our cities, and for our neighborhoods, and we get a chance to embrace who we are.”  

To celebrate this first nationally recognized Juneteenth, McGill has pulled together something special. The cities first publicly funded Juneteenth celebration.  

“We’re going to gather down on the Arkansas River at the park. We’ve got a lot of great activities going on, and there will be events going on all across the community, I am sure,” said McGill. 

The U of A is holding another celebration. It’s put together a week of festivities, including giveaway pop-ups, virtual key not speakers, and a concert series at Crystal Bridges Saturday night.

“This is a really big deal for us. Juneteenth is a historic moment in our history, to be able to come together in the community to celebrate as one and commemorate,” said Candice Jones, director at Walmart for culture, diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

“This is just months and months of work coming to fruition. The committee as a whole has worked tirelessly to put Juneteenth events together,” said Associate Vice-Chancellor and Director of Equal Opportunity and Compliance for the U of A, Dr. Danielle L. Williams. 

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