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Bristol’s first official public Juneteenth celebration hosted by Carousel Museum

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LAURA BAILEY MAY 2, 2023

The Carousel Museum will open their doors to the community on June 19 to host Bristol’s first official public Juneteenth celebration. Included in the celebration is a reading of the official Juneteenth proclamation by an official of the local NAACP chapter.

“It’s the first Juneteenth celebration in Bristol that’s officially open to the community,” said Morgan Urgo. “We’re calling it a Freedom Day Celebration; we’re celebrating the diversity of our community.”

Urgo, the executive director of the New England Carousel Museum, said that the idea and inspiration for the Juneteenth event came from the MLK Mural located across the street from the Carousel Museum on the Primo Press building.

“The mural unveiling was such a great event,” said Urgo. “I was cleaning up with Scott Rosado and Josh Medeiros at the end of the night and we started talking about what’s next. We wanted to do another event celebrating diversity, and we started talking about Juneteenth.”
The Carousel Museum’s education manager Katie Bassett applied for a grant from the Bristol Arts & Culture Commission in late winter. Once the funding came through, the Carousel Museum partnered with the Greater Bristol Branch of the NAACP and local business owner Scott Rosado to bring the event to Bristol.

“Educating people about what Juneteenth will be an important part of the event,” stated Urgo. “I don’t think many people understand the importance and significance of the day.”

The event will feature live entertainment, including a performance from Nzinga’s Daughters. Food will be available and local artists will be selling their works.

“We’ll also have a reading of the proclamation of Juneteenth read by Tim Camerl, the vice president of the Greater Bristol Branch of the NAACP,” Urgo said.

The Juneteenth celebration will be held Monday, June 19, from 4-8 p.m. at the Carousel Museum. The family-friendly event will offer arts and crafts in the art studio for the younger guests as well as drop-in activities that will be led by kids from the Boys & Girls club.

The event is free and open to the public. The museum is accessible.

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