It’s batter-up for Juneteenth celebration

By Alan Madlane
Juneteenth is coming up soon, and once again, Hamtramck aims to hit it out of the park in celebration.
We’re referring to the 3rd Annual Hamtramck Stadium Juneteenth Celebration on June 19, featuring a Home Run Derby for scholarships, and more.
The whole thing bears the name of Turkey Stearnes, the former Negro Leaguer and Hall of Famer (2000) who graced Hamtramck’s ball fields with his stellar play from 1923-31, and again in 1937.
Juneteenth, of course, is the 12th and newest-added federal holiday, codified as such by President Biden as the focal point of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, in 2021.
It celebrates the abolition of slavery in general, but is specifically tied to the date that the state of Texas abolished it, on June 19, 1865.
The event will be held beginning at noon, at Veterans Park. The park is located at 3201 Dan St., on the city’s south end. The opening event will be the Turkey Stearnes Foundation’s award ceremony for a Juneteenth Multidisciplinary Art Contest.
State Rep. Helena Scott will serve as Keynote Speaker.
Then, the fireworks begin in earnest, with the Turkey Stearnes Home Run Derby teeing up (and off) at 12:45. Local youth stars will attempt to launch balls over the fence, and the winners of that competition will receive scholarships specifically from the Stearnes Foundation.
After all of that, at 3 p.m., it’s a game between the 15-and-under youth against the 18-and-under youth from the Detroit “RBI” teams.
The event is free and the weather report, at the time we went to press, was promising – 80 degrees and sunny, if the weather pundits are to be believed.
Posted May 31, 2024

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