Chesterton Tribune



Broadway to close for Juneteenth celebration Friday

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Broadway will be closed between 8th Street and Calumet starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 19 for a peaceful solidarity march commemorating Juneteenth, the June 19 holiday celebrating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans.

Chesterton Police Chief Dave Cincoski said in a release Wednesday morning that there will be no parking on the north side of Broadway between Calumet and 3rd Street starting at 3 p.m. Friday in anticipation of the event. Parking is available in the lot across from the Police Department and along the street on Broadway past 3rd Street, the release said.

Participants are also required to wear masks and practice social distancing. Limited amounts of water will be available at the start and finish of the march and along the procession route.

Local residents Becky Uehling and Mark Strudas organized the event. Participants are asked to gather in the parking lot across from the Police Department and will begin a march to Thomas Centennial Park at 5 p.m. Chesterton resident and broker/owner of Better Homes and Garden Real Estate Connection of Crown Point Clarence Webb will speak at the park, as well as Stanford University Senior Angel Smith, an award winning poet and filmmaker. Other speakers may still be determined, according to the release.

Skateboards and bicycles are welcome and encouraged; those attending are encouraged to bring their own water to stay hydrated and wear black, green, or red in solidarity with other Juneteenth events; and participants should not leave behind any garbage, Studas said in a post to the public Facebook event for the march.

“This is a Juneteenth/BLM solidarity march. It is meant to be peaceful, supportive, educational, and celebratory,” Strudas said in the post.

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, which is the day General Gordan Grange informed African-Americans in Galveston, Tex. of their freedom some two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, according to the Chesterton Police release.

“Juneteenth has come to represent the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the U.S. and currently, there is a push to recognize Juneteenth as a national holiday. One of General Granger’s first orders of business was to read to the people of Texas, General Order Number 3, which began most significantly with: ‘The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer,’” the release states.

The release cites the World-wide Celebration website, which says, “Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a day marked with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics, and family gatherings. It is a time for reflection and rejoicing. It is a time for assessment, self-improvement and for planning the future. Its growing popularity signifies a level of maturity and dignity in America long overdue. In cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities and religions are joining hands to truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today. Sensitized to the conditions and experiences of others, only then can we make significant and lasting improvements in our society.”



Posted 6/17/2020




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