Juneteenth’s New Attractions Include Re-Enactment of a Slave Auction

Natalie Morera, Buffalo News, June 16, 2008

The Juneteenth Festival drew a smaller crowd to Martin Luther King Park on Sunday, but still entertained festival-goers with a variety of events and activities celebrating African-American heritage and culture.

Saturday’s crowd was estimated at more than 40,000, while Sunday brought in about half of that number.

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Brown explained that attendance on Sundays usually goes down because there’s no parade like there is on Saturday. The parade is the most popular event each year.

“It’s a community parade. Everybody gets involved in it,” Brown said.

In addition to traditional events like the parade, this year’s festival included a re-enactment of a slave auction that took place throughout the two days. The actors stayed in character after the performance to answer questions from the crowd.

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Also new this year was a two-hour African drum and dance event that included an hourlong class on African drums and another hour on dance. Brown said the event was very well attended.

The Museum of Science held an exhibit of William West’s art, provided by El Museo.

West is a Buffalo native who displayed about 30 pieces of art made between 1951 and the present. Pieces included watercolor paintings and pen-and-ink drawings.

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