Randy Yohe Published

Juneteenth Celebration Features Diverse Mountain State Talent

A row of Black musicians in stage outfits
R&B group Dru Hill will reunite as headliners for WV Juneteenth 2023.
Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs

The seventh annual event, Juneteenth 2023, happens this Saturday, June 17 from 5 to 9 p.m. on the front steps of the State Capitol. The history-fulfilling fest is complete with games, prizes, crafts, vendors, food and more. This event is free of charge and open to the public, and everyone is encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chair.

Jill Upson, the Executive Director of the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs (HHOMA), said Juneteenth is a day of positive vibes and unity.

“This is an important day in our nation’s history, and we are proud to come together to celebrate the end of slavery and the beginning of true freedom for all Americans,” Upson said. “We look forward to welcoming families and community members to this wonderful event.”

Upson said the entertainment line up features diverse West Virginia minority talent that would otherwise go unrecognized.

“We have a wonderful comedian who’s absolutely hilarious, his name is Kevin Jackson,” Upson said. “We’ve got some spoken word artists, and a child drummer. We also have a couple of rappers included in that lineup. I think it’s a good representation of the different styles and genres of art that’s out there.”

The celebration headliner is Grammy nominated R&B group Dru Hill. Upson said this is a reunited, classic soul group.

“They’ve done a lot of changes, specific for their 25th Anniversary,” she said. “The entire group is back together, including Cisco, who went off and had a very successful solo career. He will be alongside founding members SisQo, Nokio, Jazz, and the latest additions Smoke and Black from the R&B group ‘Playa,’ former members Scola and Tao rejoin the dynamic lineup.”

HHOMA is hosting the Juneteenth Celebration in partnership with FestivALL Charleston. For more information and the entire Juneteenth 2023 entertainment lineup, click here