Akella Clore (left) dances with Deja Bolton as Aminah Khan dances with Kaia Bolton during a past Cobb Juneteenth celebration at Marietta Square.
Photo: Jonathan Phillips
Photo: Jonathan Phillips

Your guide to Cobb’s Juneteenth 2018 festival: events, parking, pets

Cobb County’s largest celebration of Juneteenth is coming back to Marietta Square with lots to do this weekend.

The Cobb branch of the NAACP puts on the free three-day event with the help of the city.

Below is what you need to know from the NAACP website and Sydnee Grimes, a member of the organization.

READBethel AME: The historic ‘voice’ of Cobb’s black community

So what is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth remembers the 2½-year delay in the word getting to slaves in Texas that they were now free. President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation at the start of 1863, but it was June 19, 1865, until Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger got to Galveston. (Get it? June + 19th = “Juneteenth.”)

Prior to Granger’s declaration, there was an estimated 250,000 slaves in Texas, according to historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Of course rough days for slaves didn’t immediately end with Granger’s arrival, but the day commemorates another important moment in America abolishing slavery.

Matthew Gibbs (center), half of the performance duo Kinetix, performs with James D. Love during a Juneteenth Celebration in Marietta Square. (Jonathan Phillips)

When is it?

Grimes said the celebration runs from 7 to 11 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 3 to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

What can I expect?

Grimes said last year drew about 40,000 attendees and 150 vendors last year, and she expects the same this year. Music, spoken word performances and dancing are always on the agenda. WellStar will be giving wellness tests and screenings. Organizers also encourage folks to explore the shops and museums that line the Square.

EXPLOREWhile you’re, check out downtown Marietta’s mural using this neat interactive tool the city made.

What about for the kiddos?

Kid’s Alley will have multiple moonwalks (for a fee), games, a sand art area and a face painting station along with other options for children.

Can I bring Fido?

No. According to the NAACP website: “We request that folks with dogs and other pets please leave them at home where there is adequate shade and water. There is not a place on the festival grounds to accommodate pets. They can leave waste and many young children are frightened around dogs of any size. Thank you for your cooperation!”

Where do I park?

The county parking deck and the Mill Street lot will be available for parking. The county court lots may charge a fee.

Where’s the dang bathroom?

There will be portable restrooms and hand washing facilities on Mill, Root and Lawrence streets. Also check the corner of Roswell Street and East Park Square.

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