Skip to main content

City of Mauldin to Host Inaugural Juneteenth Celebration on June 22

By June 10, 2024June 14th, 2024No Comments

The City of Mauldin will host its first-ever Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 22 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Mauldin Cultural Center outdoor amphitheater and grounds. The free, family-friendly event will feature live performances, food trucks, market vendors and children’s activities in a celebration of Black history and culture that is intended for all community members to enjoy.

“We worked to ensure this inaugural Juneteenth celebration echoes the spirit of the earliest Juneteenth events, bringing people together with music, food and community,” said April C. Evans, event MC and Juneteenth Planning Committee member. “Featuring local talent and more than 30 minority- and women-owned businesses, food trucks and community organizations, we’re committed to the pursuit of inclusive freedom. Of course, the community is invited to join us in celebrating the Black community and enjoying a day of unity and celebration.”

The event will include a variety of entertainment and live performances, including:

  • Spoken word by Moody Black
  • Music by gospel choir Larry McCullough & Chosen Generation
  • ‘90s hits from the cast of the Mauldin Theatre Company’s “Bring Back the ‘90s” show
  • Dance performances by T-Motions Dance Studio and Imani Dance Group
  • Music from DJ Yuni

There will also be several food trucks on site, more than 30 market vendors, beer and wine from Growler Haus, an educational experience with information about Black history in Mauldin, and children’s activities including face painting, yard games, a playground and a LEGO station by Bricks & Minifigs.

“We’re excited to have Moody Black, DJ Yuni and Imani Dance Group and to welcome back the cast of ‘Bring Back the ‘90s’ to close out the celebration of Mauldin’s inaugural Juneteenth celebration, along with many Black-owned vendors and food trucks to visit throughout the event,” said Kristofer Parker, Theatre and Production Coordinator for the Mauldin Cultural Center and head of the Juneteenth Planning Committee. “This event is important to our community, and as an employee of Mauldin, I’m thrilled to see administration taking the initiative in making this celebration happen.”

Last November, Mauldin City Council unanimously voted to adopt Juneteenth as a City holiday beginning in 2024, and staff began making plans for the City’s first Juneteenth celebration. This year’s inaugural event was organized by a planning committee comprised of both staff and community members.

“Over the past several months, staff worked closely with community members to organize an event celebrating our community and diversity,” said Council Member and Mayor Pro Tempore Taft Matney, who will deliver welcome remarks at the event. “We are excited to invite our entire community to join us on June 22 for music, food, fun and education, and to build stronger bonds with neighbors throughout our city.”

Community members say the recognition of Juneteenth as a City holiday and the creation of an annual celebration is an important step that honors Mauldin’s diversity while encouraging unity among all citizens.

“We commend the Mauldin City Council, who unanimously voted to honor the importance of the Juneteenth holiday as well as the contributions of Black people to the United States, and Mauldin in particular,” said Pastor Curtis Johnson of Valley Brook Outreach Baptist Church in Pelzer, a member of the Juneteenth Planning Committee and a 20-year resident of Mauldin. “We are excited about the launch of Mauldin’s first annual Juneteenth celebration. It is indeed a cultural celebration that is open to all citizens of our diverse community. Great music and arts, great families and great history will be acknowledged and celebrated together.”

“It’s a great day in Mauldin,” said Rodney Neely, Mauldin resident and Juneteenth Planning Committee member. “I’m thankful to Mauldin City Council for adopting Juneteenth as a City holiday. What I appreciate about the adoption of this holiday is we didn’t have to ask; City Council took it upon themselves to do what’s right. I’m looking forward to making the Juneteenth celebration the most memorable day in the City of Mauldin.”

City staff echoed those sentiments and said recognizing and celebrating Juneteenth is a positive move for Mauldin.

“Being a Black man and serving as a police officer in this city for the past decade, I’ve seen both sides of the issues we’ve faced with race relations in this community,” said Mauldin Police Lt. Shawn C. Smith, a member of the Juneteenth Planning Committee. “I believe that making Juneteenth an official City holiday and holding this festival to honor the holiday is a positive step in the right direction. I encourage members of all communities to come out and celebrate with us as we commemorate a very important day in Black history.”

Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States; it became the latest federal holiday in 2021.

Organizers of the Juneteenth celebration say that while the event centers around a pivotal moment in Black history, it is intended for people from all walks of life to experience and enjoy.

“I’m excited about this historic Juneteenth event and its first-time celebration in the City of Mauldin; it presents valuable past events, persons and affairs that helped shape the culture and climate of our community,” said Pastor Carl McCluney of New Harvest Ministries, a member of the Juneteenth Planning Committee. “It welcomes a greater understanding and offers a great opportunity for unity to us all.”

Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the outdoor performances, and leashed dogs are allowed.

Outside food and beverages, smoking, tents, weapons, bikes, scooters and skateboards are prohibited. In the event of inclement weather, all weather-related announcements will be made via the Mauldin Cultural Center’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

For more information, visit or