Silk to headline Juneteenth Festival

Silk to headline Juneteenth Festival
Posted on 05/15/2018

National R&B group, Silk, will headline Rocky Mount’s Juneteenth Community Empowerment Festival being held June 1 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and June 2 from 11:45 a.m. to 8 p.m. in front of the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences.

Known for chart-topping hits like “If You (Lovin’ Me),” “Girl U for Me/Lose Control” and a host of others, Silk began their career in 1989 and had their first hit single in 1993.

This year’s Juneteenth, presented by PNC and hosted by the Juneteenth Committee and the city of Rocky Mount, will also feature the Sleeping Booty band. Sleeping Booty was originally conceived as a '70s and '80s cover band in 1999. In recent years, the group expanded their song list to include contemporary hits and other popular categories. They have performed before live audiences throughout the U.S. and have opened up for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Artists Parliament/Funkadelic, KC and the Sunshine Band, Mother's Finest, Earth Wind & Fire and more.

Juneteenth is a two-day event, featuring Sleeping Booty and Violinist Daniel Davis on Friday, June 1. Friday will also consist of a flag raising and A/B honor roll recognition. Students from Parker, Baskerville, D.S. Johnson and Rocky Mount Prep who made the A/B Honor Roll will be recognized.

On Saturday, June 2, there will be a bike rodeo, music from the Electric Image Band and the Gospel Jubilators, as well as performances from the Kenya Safari Acrobats and others. Six students will also be presented with John Perry Scholarships. Perry was a former Rocky Mount City councilman who was also known as an education and community advocate.

“Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration recognizing the end of slavery. The commemoration of Juneteenth has taken place since the 19th century,” said Greg Royal, chair of the Juneteenth Planning Committee. “That is why music is only one aspect of this annual celebration. We also want to honor students, remember notable pioneers like John Perry and Vernon Powell, and share the importance of Juneteenth.

This year’s keynote speaker acknowledging the significance of Juneteenth will be Reuben Blackwell, Rocky Mount City councilmember and president and CEO of the Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC).

New to this year’s Juneteenth celebration will be a Juneteenth Charity Car Show starting at 12 p.m. on Saturday, June 2. All proceeds from the car show will go towards a worthwhile cause, with 50 percent of the proceeds to Williford Elementary School and 50 percent to My Sister’s House.

The Imperial Centre is located at 270 Gay St. in Rocky Mount. For more information about Juneteenth and to see the schedule of events, visit https://www.downtownrockymount.com, or call 252-972-1151.