LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Friends of Dreamland and FlagandBanner.com joined forces with the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center for their celebration of Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery, and is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in most states.
Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a day, a week, and in some areas a month marked with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics and family gatherings. Here in Little Rocka variety of entertainment is planned for the block party style celebration on 9th Street. Attendees will find live music, children’s activities, food trucks, non-profits, and vendor booths ranging from clothing to food. More than 1,200 people were in attendance last year with more than 50 participating vendors, performers and sponsors.
Guided tours will be held at 2:00 and 4:00PM at Taborian Hall (aka Flag and Banner building) and are free to the public. Please note that the ballroom is on the third floor. Those wishing to tour it should be able to walk up 3 flights of stairs as there is no elevator.
Local music groups will perform in Doc’s Pool Hall on the corner of 9th and State streets, first floor of Flag and Banner building, as well as a lecture by Edmond Davis and a showing of the AETN’s Documentary “Dream Land; Little Rock’sWest 9th Street.”
Schedule of events on Saturday, June 15th at 800 West 9th Street:
1:00-2:00PM Showing of “Dream Land; Little Rock’s West 9th Street”
2:00~3:00PM Tour of Taborian Hall and Dreamland Ballroom
3:00-3:30PM Lecture by Edmond Davis, “Unburied Truths; the Emancipation Proclamation”
3:30-4:00PM Music by Candice Harris
4:00~5:00PM Tour of Taborian Hall and Dreamland Ballroom
4:30-5:10PM Music by Pastor Napoleon Coakley and Prosperity
5:15-6:00PM Music by Lando Devine
On the opposite State and 9th St corner, Flyway Brewing of N. Little Rock will be serving craft beer.
The Taborian Hall is a century old landmark in downtown Little Rock. Construction began in 1916 and was completed in 1918. Since then Taborian Hall has been an integral part of the Little Rock African American Culture. The Dreamland Ballroom on the third floor became a popular stop on the famous Chitlin’ Circuit where musical greats such as Ray Charles, B.B. King, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington performed among others. The historical building also has a strong military history as it once served as the USO Club for African American soldiers during World War I & II.
Currently the Dreamland Ballroom is undergoing further restoration efforts. A National Parks Service grant, dedicated to the restoration of Civil Rights significant places, was awarded to Friends Of Dreamland in the spring of 2018 and will fund the long awaited elevator. The Dreamland Ballroom is one of the last remaining original ballrooms in America and the Taborian Hall is the last original building on 9th Street that made up Little Rock’s historically black district often referred to as “The Line.”
For more details of this event, visit our Facebook page.
Rod Washington Writer, filmmaker, model railroader, dreamer, posting videos and articles about trains. Also, posting railfanning videos and updates about his own model railroad layout via his webpage, the rail project (coming soon).