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Juneteenth events continue Friday

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Posted: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 10:09 pm | Updated: 4:15 pm, Sat Jun 19, 2010.

Longview continues Juneteenth activities Friday with a gospel program at 7 p.m. at the Broughton Recreation Center, 801 MLK Boulevard.

Joey Russ, a recreation center supervisor who has organized Juneteenth events for about 30 years, describes the event as a free concert where local church groups, choirs and soloists sing and praise dance.

The annual Juneteenth parade and a men's softball tournament is scheduled for Saturday. There is a $5 charge for entries in the parade that begins at 10 a.m. on Martin Luther King Boulevard near Broughton Park.

The parade includes cars, floats, antique trucks, horses and go-karts. Drill teams and walking groups are also participating.

The grand marshal for the parade is Don "D.C." Curry, an actor and comedian who will perform a comedy show later that night.

The men's slow pitch softball tournament starts at 8 a.m. Saturday.

Tournament director Lee Benton said about eight teams have signed up so far and more are welcome to participate. The cost is $165 for the double-elimination tournament with T-shirts and team trophies going to the top three teams.

Those interested can contact Benton at (903) 331-8271.

Curry, who started his career by winning the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition Comedian of the Year award, takes the stage 8 p.m. at the T.G. Field Auditorium, 400 N. Second St.

Curry has been a regular on the hit series "Grace Under Fire," performed on "The Chris Rock Show" and "The Roseanne Show." He appeared as Pastor Jones on "The Tracy Morgan Show" and appeared as the sadistic gangster in the crime drama "Two Degrees." Curry has also appeared on "The Steve Harvey Show" and his cable TV special "Comedy Central Presents DC Curry" continues to air on that network.

Tickets are $20 at Heat Clothing in Longview Mall or Gabriel's Menswear, 405 West Loop 281, and will go on sale at the box office Friday. The Longview Museum of Fine Arts, 215 E. Tyler St., has scheduled a Celebrity Meet and Greet directly following the act at the museum. Tickets are $39 for the show and event. Alcoholic beverages and light refreshments will be available at the meet and greet.

The entertainer encourages people to bring two cans of food the day of the show to benefit the East Texas Food Bank.

For more information on tickets, call (903) 241-6739.

The final Juneteenth event is the Juneteenth Rodeo at 8 p.m. June 26 at the Longview Fairgrounds Rodeo Arena fairgrounds, 100 Grand Blvd.

The rodeo will feature calf roping, bull riding, ladies barrel racing and junior calf roping and barrel racing. Coordinator Frank "Penny" Edwards said the Legendary Temptations will perform at about 8:40 p.m. with gates opening at 6:30 p.m.

Edwards said $10 pre-sale tickets are sold at Cavender's Boot City, 1306 West Loop 281, and at the Cavender's Boot City in Tyler, 2025 WSW Loop 323.

Tickets will be $13 for children and $15 for adults at the door.

For information about the Juneteenth Rodeo, call (903) 753-3165.

For more information on Broughton Recreation Center, call (903) 237-1276.

Did you know?

■ President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation declared Jan. 1, 1863, as the official date the slaves were freed in several Confederate states.

■ Texans would say otherwise — and have a state holiday to prove it.

■ Juneteenth is a celebration dating back to June 19, 1865, when Gen. Gordon Granger rode into Galveston with news the Civil War had ended.

■ On that day, Union soldiers freed thousands of slaves, more than two years after the proclamation, with news of their rights.

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