Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation became official New Year's Day, 1863, but willful plantation owners continued slavery in the South for two and a half more years. On June 19, 1865, soldiers came to Galveston, Texas, and spread the word that slaves were actually free. The day was dubbed Juneteenth.
This weekend celebrate history with concerts and events. At today's annual Juneteenth Parade, marching bands, steppers, floats, and dancers will bring color and fun to Overtown. After the parade, gather at the Rally for Quality Education for live music, a job fair, and great food. The fest will come to a close when the Jubilate Vocal Ensemble and the visiting Kenyan Mamlaka Music Club join in a performance of "Ngoma Ya Kiasili," or "music of the ancestors." The street party will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Lyric Theater (819 NW Second Ave., Miami) and end at Booker T. Washington Senior High School, 1200 NW Sixth Ave., Miami. Call 954-550-0597, or visit www.jubilatearts.org for a complete list of events and locations. --Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik
Foil, épée, or saber. Whatever your weapon, the Sunshine State Games fencing tournament has plenty of action. More than 150 fencers of all ages will be competing in the Olympic-style competition beginning at 8:00 a.m. today and Sunday at the War Memorial Auditorium (800 NE Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale). Dean Alexander, age 72, has been fencing since 1953 and will be competing in the veterans' saber events. "It's the only Olympic sport where you face an opponent with a weapon," states Alexander, who qualified for the world championships in 2000 and 2003 and frequently defeats twentysomething competitors. And what's his training schedule like? "I haven't practiced in 25 years," he laughs. Admission is free. Call 954-828-5380, or visit www.flasports.com. -- Lyssa Oberkreser
Only the strong survive
What do a Volkswagen, a ton of bricks, and a telephone pole have in common? They're all things that the men and women competing in the North American Powerlifting Championships can lift over their heads and hurl at a snide reporter who dares to crack any jokes regarding squatting or 'roid rage. More than 100 athletes from 16 countries will be showing off the benefits of eating spinach when super men and women compete for a chance to participate in the world championships in November. Musclebound squatting will be all the rage (couldn't resist) at the third annual IPF/NAPF North American Powerlifting Championships taking place at the James L. Knight Center (400 SE Second Ave., Miami) beginning at 9:00 a.m. today and Sunday. Tickets cost five dollars. Call 954-384-4472, or visit www.ipfworlds.com. --Kris Conesa