The fourth annual local Juneteenth celebration this weekend will have a distinct focus on speed.
A movie celebrating the life of Jesse Owens will be shown during the two-day event and there will be four sessions of a “Speed and Development Camp” led by local Coach Keion McNair.
With events at the Washington High Gym and Port St. Joe Elementary School, this year’s Juneteenth celebration, hosted by the North Port St. Joe Project Area Coalition (NPSJ-PAC), is shaping up as the biggest yet.
“We are also focused on bringing out more youth involvement in the event,” said Chester Davis, chairman of the NPSJ-PAC. “That was an emphasis this year.”
Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day, commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas, and more generally has become known as the emancipation date for enslaved African-Americans across the Confederate States of America.
The annual luncheon, along with guest speakers, will be held 12-2 p.m. ET Saturday at the Washington High Gym, located at 414 Kenny Street in Port St. Joe.
The following day, from 12-3 p.m. Sunday at Port St. Joe Elementary School on Long Ave., there will be a free showing of the movie “Race,” the story of Jesse Owens, a four-time gold medalist during the 1936 Berlin Olympics, beating the pride of Germany along the way with Adolf Hitler looking on.
There will also be a luncheon 12-1 p.m. ET Sunday at the Washington Gym.
“This is a most-worthy two-day family event,” said Dannie Bolden of the NPSJ-PAC.
Surrounding the celebration of emancipation, McNair and fellow Coach Zyris Hill will be conducting their “Speed and Development Camp.”
On Saturday and Sunday there will be two sessions: 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. ET and 3-5 p.m. ET each day.
All sessions will be at the Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School track.
“In the morning we will be working on warm-up and drills,” McNair said. “In the afternoon, we are going to do some sprints.
“I will have a video camera and we will provide tips for each runner.”
McNair coaches the Lady Tiger Shark track team and has also worked extensively with local athletes such as Calvin Pryor, Trey Sanders, Roman Quinn and Kayla Parker.
The first 50 participants are free; the cost of the camp is $65.
“It’s really filling up pretty fast,” McNair said.
To participate contact McNair at 890-6967 or K.firstname.lastname@example.org