Annual Juneteenth celebration returns to Milford Green

Milford’s 2022 Juneteenth celebration starts at 10 a.m. and runs through 4 p.m. Pictured is the Milford gazebo decorated for observance of Juneteenth on Friday, June 29, 2020.

Milford’s 2022 Juneteenth celebration starts at 10 a.m. and runs through 4 p.m. Pictured is the Milford gazebo decorated for observance of Juneteenth on Friday, June 29, 2020.

Contributed photo

MILFORD — The Milford Green will once again play host to what has become an ever-expanding Juneteenth celebration.

The event, in its third year, will be held Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year, organizers said an author’s tent, featuring the works of Black women has been added the festivities, which also feature artists, performers and Black-owned businesses.

“It's very important to continue the Juneteenth event as it normalizes something to have it occur more often,” said Anthony Sutton of the Milford Juneteenth Celebration Committee. “Like many things in our society, this has been left out of the history most people have learned, and the culture most people live in. But it should be celebrated.”

Fellow committee member Bryan Anderson voiced his enthusiasm about how the celebration has been accepted and supported by the community.

“Every year, we have added new elements, new artists and performers, and new Black-owned businesses to patronize and support,” Anderson added.

Anderson said organizers observed a significant turnout among African American women in the first two years this event has been held in Milford, so, as a result, they made adding an author’s tent featuring Black women authors and booksellers this year.

Those featured in the author’s tent will be Erica Bradley, author of “Don’t Start Dinner Without Us” at 10:45 a.m.; Marian Regina Mullings, author of “And I Pray...My Daily Declaration to Walking in My Destiny” at noon; Faith Lucielle Lewandowski a young adult author of “If You Need To Smile: A Dose of Laughter for My Sick World” at 1:30 p.m. among others.

“Year One was more of an intimate celebration with decorations, poster-making and photograph-taking. It was so personal and meaningful,” said Anderson. “Last year, we built on the first year with a formal speaking program and entertainment. We were supported by nearly all of the noteworthy Milford nonprofits. This year, we have achieved a broader array of vendors and presenters.”

The event will feature Black-owned businesses, food vendors, nonprofit organizations, children’s activities, games and wellness programs.

Throughout the day, the Juneteenth committee is expecting upwards of 400 people to attend.

“This year I’m excited to hear all of the musical performances, to enjoy the dance exhibitions, to sample the local food vendors who will be selling unique offerings, including Milford’s own Spice N Flava,” Sutton said. “I’m excited to hear the words of the invited authors, but most of all, to continue to spread awareness and joy for why Juneteenth is worthy of celebrating to an ever-widening audience and community.”