Niles to host annual Juneteenth festival

Published 3:22 pm Thursday, May 30, 2024

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NILES — A group of local businesswomen are gearing up for an annual event to promote education and community betterment.

The Niles Juneteenth Festival, now in its fourth year, will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 19 at Plym Park, 401 Marmont St. Co-founded by Ylonda Scott, CEO of Sheboss Oasis Business Anchor LLC., and Tiara Williams, CEO of Tattoo The World Nonprofit Organization, the festival celebrates freedom, culture and community with this year’s theme: “Creative Expression: Empowering our Youth for a Brighter Future.”

The festival will feature a wide range of activities designed to engage and inspire attendees of all ages. Highlights include:

– Live Performances: Enjoy music, dance, and other performances by talented local artists.

– DIY Carnival: Participate in fun games and activities while learning more about local organizations and businesses.

– Art Exhibits: Explore artwork created by both youth and adult artists, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the community.

– Educational Workshops: Attend sessions on various topics including health and wellness, youth development, education, and more.

– Vendor Booths: Browse and shop from a variety of local vendors offering food, crafts, and services.

– Parade: Celebrate with a vibrant parade featuring community members and organizations.

– Niles Juneteenth King and Queen Nomination: Recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the community.

– Black-Owned Business Recognition: Nominate and vote for your favorite black-owned businesses. The business with the most nominations will be spotlighted at the festival.

– Special Guest DJ: DJ Kid Mix from WSMK Smokin 99.1 will be spinning tunes and keeping the energy high throughout the event.

Additionally, the event will be recognizing Wear Orange, which is observed every June. Thousands of people wear the color orange to honor Hadiya Pendleton and the more than 43,000 Americans killed with guns annually, along with approximately 76,000 more who are injured. The event is asking everyone to wear orange from June 7-9 and to tag the organizations in any pictures taken wearing orange with an encouraging word. Community members are invited to gather at noon Sunday, June 9 at Mount Calvary Baptist Church Sunday, June 9 with Moderator Reverend Bryant L. Bacon Sr. Pastor and the congregation in supporting the Niles Juneteenth Festival. A gathering to remember loved ones and prayer will take place there.

Donations are being accepted for the Orange Stop the Hurt Hands campaign, with proceeds benefiting the Brandon Williams Creative Arts Scholarship and the Niles Juneteenth Academic Scholarship.

The event is funded entirely through donations and volunteer efforts. While the Niles Juneteenth Festival is not a non-profit organization, all proceeds are reinvested into the event to ensure it remains a memorable and impactful celebration for the community.

“We are thrilled to host the fourth annual Niles Juneteenth Festival,” Scott said. “Our goal is to create an event that not only celebrates our culture and heritage but also empowers our youth and inspires creative expression.”

“This festival is a testament to the strength and resilience of our community,” added Williams. “We invite everyone to join us for a day of celebration, education, and unity.”

For more information about the Niles Juneteenth Festival, to apply as a vendor to learn how you can support the event through donations or volunteering, visit