Juneteenth 2023: Tri City HOPE ‘Fighting’ for Community in Annual Celebration


By Rann Miller | AC JosepH Media

BRIDGETONTri City H.O.P.E. announced it will hold a pre-Juneteenth and eighth annual Juneteenth Celebration in Bridgeton on June 10 and 17, respectively, organizers said.

Tri City H.O.P.E.’s celebration, which features amateur boxing, a Miss Juneteenth contest and music among other activities, is one of the best-attended Juneteenth celebrations in South Jersey, organized by prominent community activist Jerry Young.

On Saturday, June 10, the organization will hold its pre-Juneteenth Celebration of Praise and Inspiration at 6:45 p.m. at St. Phillip’s Church, 275 Richardson Avenue in Bridgeton. Admission is free and a freewill offering will be taken.

Tri City H.O.P.E.’s show showcase celebration will take place from noon until dusk, at the Bridgeton Midget Football Field, at 4 Burt Street in Bridgeton, near Bridgeton City Park with the Bridgeton High Football Stadium on one side.

“The day’s activities will kick off at noon, with an amateur boxing show with 12 bouts scheduled to take place,” organizers said in a message to Front Runner New Jersey. “Taking place at the same time as the boxing show, will be the kids games with $700 in prize money up for grabs.”

The Opening Ceremony will take place about 2:15 p.m. with the singing of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” The opening keynote speaker will be attorney JoEllyn Jones.

“Miss Jones is a young, but experienced, attorney that has made a name for herself in the world of law,” organizers said. “Throughout the day, there will be many activities in and around the stage including the Vineland Villagers Gospel Company, other singers, a gospel rapper, a praise dancer, line dancing, spoken word artist and more.”

There will also be a spades tournament with the winning team splitting $200 in prize money. Volleyball and corn hole are also scheduled. The inaugural Positive Vibes Youth Basketball Tournament will take place on the nearby basketball courts.

“Players on the winning teams will get individual trophies. Two MVPs, one male and one female, will be chosen from the tournament’s participants. The male winner will receive the Charlie Kates MVP Trophy and the female winner will receive the Angie Edwards MVP Trophy. “Kates and Edwards are, arguably, the best male and female player that Cumberland County has ever seen.”

During the celebration, Miss Juneteenth, Junior Miss Juneteenth, and Little Miss Juneteenth will be presented to the attendees. HOPE Awards for community service will be presented to four individuals and two organizations. Tri City H.O.P.E., Atlantic City Electric and others will be having giveaways.

Throughout the day, food trucks, resource vendors and merchandise vendors will be on the grounds to engage attendees.

Bio: Rann Miller directs the 21st Century Community Learning Center, a federally funded after-school program located in southern New Jersey. He spent years teaching in charter schools in Camden, New Jersey. He is the creator, writer, and editor of the Official Urban Education Mixtape Blog. Follow him on Twitter: @UrbanEdDJ.  

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