Another Juneteenth celebration is this weekend

Fort Dodge is not done celebrating Juneteenth.

A second Juneteenth celebration, featuring food, basketball and the recognition of people who have played key roles in the community, will be held at H.C. Meriwether Park on June 18. This will be the first time Fort Dodge has had two Juneteenth celebrations.

“We’re excited to see more Juneteenth celebrations,” said Sherry Washington, a member of the Pleasant Valley Awareness Committee, which organized the upcoming event. The committee has held a Juneteenth celebration since 2018.

This year’s event will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at H.C. Meriwether Park on 10th Avenue Southwest.

“Let’s come together and let’s make history,” Washington said.

A basketball game pitting Fort Dodge high school students against students from Ames will start at noon. Willie Williams, Fort Dodge Senior High School’s head boys basketball coach, will coach the Fort Dodge team. Leonard Naylor, a standout Fort Dodge basketball player in the 1970s, will coach the Ames team. Fort Dodge City Councilman Quennel McCaleb will be the referee.

At 1:30 p.m., Mayor Matt Bemrich will read a Juneteenth proclamation.

The recognition and awards presentation will follow the proclamation. Washington said the honorees will include Councilman Terry Moehnke; state Rep. Ann Meyer, R-Fort Dodge; Angela Davis, owner of Angie’s Hair and Beauty Supply; and Barb Crooks, who was a standout girls basketball player at Fort Dodge Senior High School. Crooks will be the scorekeeper for the basketball game earlier in the afternoon.

Throughout the afternoon, food will be provided by the Big Rob Experience, which is owned by Fort Dodge native Robert Presswood. The menu will include Jamaican rice and beans, curry chicken and jerked chicken.


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