The Friends of MLK (FoMLK) are proud to host the Quad City Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 17, 2023 at the Lincoln Center - TMBC located at 318 E. 7th St., Davenport, IA. from 11 am – 6 pm.
This festival is complete with food and retail vendors; local and national history information; community and resource booths; and fun-filled games and live entertainment for the whole family, this is sure to be an event you will not want to miss. Now that Juneteenth is a federal holiday, we are looking to make this year’s event our largest ever.
We look forward to having you join us as a vendor, volunteer, sponsor or patron for this years festival as we acknowledge and celebrate the Black/African American culture and history.
We are so happy you’re interested in participating in the 2023 QC Juneteenth Festival. Sponsor and Vendor information is below. If you'd like to volunteer or be a part of our entertainment, please click the link below and someone from the FoMLK will be glad to speak with you.
Vendor booth availability will be on a first come first serve basis. All vendors must complete the vendor application. All food vendors must submit the temporary food services application provided from the Scott County Health Department.
Please click the link below to register as a vendor for the 2023 Quad City Juneteenth Festival
Placing an ad in the 2023 Juneteenth program booklet is an excellent way for you to promote your business while supporting the celebration of Black/African American culture and history.
AD/Sponsor levels are as follows
Sterling - $1,000
Platinum - $500
Gold - $250
Silver - $100
Bronze - $50
Patron - $25+
Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union Soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation,which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on Texas due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger's regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance. Later, attempts to explain this two and a half year delay in the receipt of this important news have yielded several versions that have been handed down through the years. All or none of the stories could be true. For whatever the reason, conditions in Texas remained status quo well beyond what was statutory.
A range of activities provided entertain to the masses, many of which continue in tradition today. Rodeos, fishing, barbecuing, and baseball, are just a few of the typical Juneteenth activities you may witness today. Juneteenth usually focused on self-improvement, education, a historic recount the events of the past and prayer services as a major part of the celebrations.
Certain foods became popular and subsequently synonymous with the celebration, such as strawberry soda-pop. More traditional and just as popular was the barbecuing. This was through which participants could share in the spirit and aromas that their ancestors would have enjoyed during the ceremonies. Hence, the barbecue pit is often established as the center of attention at Juneteenth celebrations. Dress was also an important element in early Juneteenth customs, and is often taken seriously, particularly by the direct descendants who can make the connection to this traditions’ roots.
In some cases in the early years, there was an outright resistance, and people would bar the use of public property for the festivities. Most of the festivities found themselves out in rural areas around rivers and creeks that would provide for additional activities such as fishing, horseback riding, and barbecues. Often, the church grounds were the sites for the festivities.
On January 1, 1980, Juneteenth became an official holiday in Texas, through the efforts of Al Edwards, an African American state legislator. The successful passage of this bill marked Juneteenth as the first emancipation celebration granted official state recognition.
Today, thirty-seven states have joined Texas in making Juneteenth an official holiday observance, and a movement is in place to recognize Juneteenth as a national holiday. Thursday, April 11, 2002, Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack (D-IA) signed legislation establishing Juneteenth as a state holiday in Iowa. The holiday will forever be known as Juneteenth National Freedom Day. On June 15, 2021, the Senate unanimously passed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act,  establishing Juneteenth as a federal holiday; it subsequently passed through the House of Representatives by a 415-14 vote on June 16, 2021.
Juneteenth symbolizes the end of slavery, and symbolizes for many African-Americans, what the Fourth of July symbolizes for all Americans. For Americans that is freedom. While blacks celebrate the Fourth of July in honor of American Independence Day, history reminds us that blacks were still enslaved when the United States gained its independence.