Photo caption: Derricks Woods, Dr. Portia Hopkins, and District B Councilmember Don Smith
at the 2016 MCJCF Community Service Awards Gala. | Images courtesy of Missouri City
For the past 15 years, the Missouri City Juneteenth Celebration Foundation’s (MCJCF) has brought African American history to the forefront in a week-long celebration of culture, community and family fun.
A vision of District B. Councilman Don Smith, launched in 2002, the family-friendly event commemorating the end of slavery on June 19, 1865, the date Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston Texas to announce the war’s end and an end to slavery. (Learn more about the history of the Juneteenth celebration on the MCJCF website.)
Festivities kicked off on Monday, June 12 with the festival’s annual Scholarship Golf Tournament held at the Quail Valley Golf Course. The event drew players for a fun and entertaining 18 holes of star-studded golf to raise scholarships for local high school students.
On Friday, June 16, from 3-6:30 p.m., the Missouri City Juneteenth Foundation invites the community to join in celebrating the grand opening celebration of Houston Community College, the Foundation’s newest community partner. Festivities will take place at 1600 Texas Parkway and will include a tour of the new campus along with a variety of activities for children, a DJ, games and giveaways. SWOOP, the college’s mascot, also is scheduled to make an appearance.
On Saturday, June 17 a musical celebration will take place at Festival Under the Stars, from 4 – 11 p.m. featuring performances by legendary R&B Funk Band “Lakeside” and soul-jazz flutist Althea Rene at Hunter’s Glen Park, 1350 Independence Blvd. The event is free and open to the public.
A new highlight added this year is a Father’s Day Cook-out with a full slate of events and family activities beginning at 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 18 with a carnival set to begin at 4 p.m. at Hunter’s Glen Park. The event is free and open to the public.
A snapshot of remaining events is provided below:
THURSDAY – JUNE 15
Annual Community Service Awards Gala
The Annual Community Service Awards Gala will be held at the City Centre at Quail Valley, 2880 La Quinta Dr. from 7 – 9:30 p.m. This event will recognize outstanding individuals within the Missouri City/Fort Bend County area. This year’s Keynote Speaker is Texas Southern University President Dr. Austin Lane. Tickets are $100 for individual seats and $1,000 for a table.
FRIDAY – JUNE 16
Family Funday in the Park
“Funday in the Park” begins at 4 p.m. and is a “FREE” event open to the general public at Hunters Glen Park, 1340 Independence Blvd. The event will include activities for all including carnival-themed games, bounce houses, face painting, crafts tables and more; the event will also include specialized food vendors. At dusk, Houston Community College will present a family-friendly movie on a giant screen. The film will be announced at a later date.
SUPER SATURDAY – JUNE 17
“One Mile of Smiles” Parade
The MCJCF presents the “One Mile of Smiles” Parade once again along Texas Parkway (FM 2234) at Court Road beginning at 7 p.m. The parkway will be closed for the parade beginning at 5:30 p.m. until the parade is over. This is another “FREE” event and is open to the general public. There will be local marching bands, civic groups, corporations, floats, dignitaries and much more celebrating Juneteenth. If you would like to participate in the parade, see the parade route map, or see the parade staging site map, visit www.mcjcf.com.
Battle of the Bands – High School
Battle of the Bands will begin right after the “One Mile of Smiles” Parade. The competition will be held at Hunters Glen Park, 1340 Independence Blvd. This is a friendly competition giving each winner bragging rights. Be sure to make plans to attend this “FREE” event. It is open to the general public.
Community Art Exhibit “It Takes a Village”
The Community Art Exhibit “It Takes a Village” event will be curated by fabric artist Carolyn Crump at the Missouri City Community Center in the City Hall Complex, 1522 Texas Pkwy. from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The art exhibit is open to the general public and admission is “FREE”.
Festival Under the Stars
MCJCF is bringing it back with Legendary R&B Funk Band “Lakeside” in concert along with soul-jazz flutist Althea Rene. The festival will be held at Hunters Glen Park, 1340 Independence Blvd. from 4 – 11 p.m. Bring the family, neighbors, and friends to enjoy an evening under the stars. This is a “FREE” event and is open to the general public.
SUNDAY – JUNE 18
Father’s Day Cookout
For the first time, the MCJCF will host a Father’s Day cook-out with a full day of events and activities for the family at Hunter’s Glen Park, 1340 Independence Blvd. beginning at 1 p.m.; a carnival will later begin at 4 p.m. This new event is open to the general public and is a “FREE” event.
For more information about this year’s events, visit www.mcjcf.com or call 281-816-6441.