KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- It's the largest celebration of black history and culture in Kansas City and usually there's a large parade, but this weekend's  Juneteenth may look a little different.

Because of crowd restrictions, the day commemorating the official end of slavery in the United States is going virtual during the COVID-19 crisis. However, there may be more widespread interest than ever.

Juneteenth celebrations have grown year after year, but for Makeda Peterson it's not just about the crowds.

“Juneteenth and our committee wants to provide a community resource,” she said.

Over the past few weeks, she's watched online traffic flock to the Juneteenth KC webpage. She believes people want to learn more.

“Everyone's enthusiastic about Juneteenth,” she said. “Everyone is curious about supporting Black Lives Matter or finding their place in how to do that. Our place is in providing resources and education.”

The event is starting a food drive this year for families suffering during the COVID-19 crisis.

“To add the pantry to it, it'll be a full wraparound service to provide for the families' needs,” said Jessica Bentley Johnson with Urban Community Connections.

Much of the event is going virtual, featuring online exhibitions and speakers. Peterson also developed a scavenger hunt of local landmarks to encourage people to learn about historic sites like the Sarah Rector House, the Buck O'Neal Community Center, and The American Jazz Museum.

“I even knew some sites in KC had become forgotten,” said Peterson.

The scavenger hunt gives you clues about local landmarks like the Charlie Parker statue. Once you figure it out, you can visit in person to explore.

“It's something to get people out and moving around to learn about history,” said Peterson. “Kansas City has an amazing history when it comes to African Americans.

This year, KC will celebrate a little differently, but the celebration will keep growing.

“There are ways you can still support your community and make an impact,” Peterson said.

Related links: 

JuneteenthKC's homepage

JuneteenthKC on Facebook

Details about the scavenger hunt

KCTV5.com is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, StormTrack5 weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from KCTV5 News. 

>> Click/tap here to download our free mobile app. <<


Copyright 2020 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.