Springboro hosting first Juneteenth celebration

For the past year, a Springboro man wanted to do something that could bring his entire community together and celebrate diversity and freedom.

Craig Salmon-Gilmore said the George Floyd incident in Minneapolis inspired him to develop an event which will begin Saturday and hopes it will become an annual weekend destination weekend in the future.

A native of Costa Rica, Salmon-Gilmore has resided in Springboro for more than 20 years. During the past year, Salmon-Gilmore reached out to city officials and various sponsors to put on the first Springboro Juneteenth Jubilee.

He said June 19, which is also Juneteenth, is an important day in our nation’s history. On June 19, 1865, the last slaves in Galveston, Texas were finally told of their freedom, nearly two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation had abolished slavery.

Salmon-Gilmore said, “in the African-American community, it is the equivalent of the July 4 celebration of freedom.... This is an opportunity to bring our white brothers and sisters, our Black brothers and sisters, and our Asian brothers and sisters together.

“We’re all one people and we should embrace diversity,” he said.

The Juneteenth Jubilee will take place across three unique venues in Springboro and will include live music and performances, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, Underground Railroad tours, local food trucks, prizes, and more, he said.

Salmon-Gilmore said the purpose of the three on three basketball tournament is to bring people together who might not otherwise play basketball together.

“This is the perfect venue to mix people together through competition,” he said.

In addition, Salmon-Gilmore said the other focus is to capitalize on Springboro’s history of being part of the Underground Railroad and abolitionist movement. Springboro’s founding Quaker community played a major role as a safe harbor for slaves paving the way for freedom for Black Americans, he said.

Springboro’s Juneteenth Jubilee will be located at three venues:

  • North Park from noon to 8 p.m.
  • Historic Downtown Springboro tours at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The Springboro Area Museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Coffman YMCA where the three on three basketball tournament will be begin at 9 a.m.

The event will also feature music, local food trucks, various prize giveaways, more than 30 information and sponsor booths, a vaccination clinic for people to receive COVID-19 shots.

There will be a shuttle drop off and pick up point at each of the three venues. The shuttle run beginning at 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. with run-time for pickup approximately 30 minutes.

On Friday, the Community Blood Center will kick off the local Juneteenth celebration weekend with a community blood drive from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Southwest Church. To schedule an appointment, go www.donortime.com.

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