Juneteenth events celebrate freedom | The Wilson Times
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Juneteenth events celebrate freedom

Posted on June 20, 2022

Updated on June 21, 2022

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Cook-off competitor Kalif Ward heaps pulled pork onto nachos at Sunday's Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition.

Drew C. Wilson | Times

Cook-off competitor Kalif Ward heaps pulled pork onto nachos at Sunday's Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition.

Barbecue competition judge John Atkinson tastes a rib at Sunday's Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition.

Drew C. Wilson | Times

Barbecue competition judge John Atkinson tastes a rib at Sunday's Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition.

Kalif Ward, winner of the Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition, sauces up a rack of ribs during Sunday's event.

Drew C. Wilson | Times

Kalif Ward, winner of the Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition, sauces up a rack of ribs during Sunday's event.

Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition attendees crowd around cook Brad Knight’s grill on Sunday.

Drew C. Wilson | Times

Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition attendees crowd around cook Brad Knight’s grill on Sunday.

Shaniqua White, left, Shelina Batts and Charlene Carson, all of Wilson, enjoy barbecue together at Sunday's Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition.

Drew C. Wilson | Times

Shaniqua White, left, Shelina Batts and Charlene Carson, all of Wilson, enjoy barbecue together at Sunday's Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition.

Competitor Brad Knight of Wilson waits for judges during Sunday's Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition.

Drew C. Wilson | Times

Competitor Brad Knight of Wilson waits for judges during Sunday's Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition.

Vendor Evony Alexander holds her 10-month-old son, Kristopher Alexander, at Sunday's Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition.

Drew C. Wilson | Times

Vendor Evony Alexander holds her 10-month-old son, Kristopher Alexander, at Sunday's Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition.

Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition judges pose for a photograph. From left are Cassidy Lucas, Patrice Ruffin, Jasmine Williams. John Atkinson and Jamesia Tann.

Drew C. Wilson | Times

Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition judges pose for a photograph. From left are Cassidy Lucas, Patrice Ruffin, Jasmine Williams. John Atkinson and Jamesia Tann.

Cook-off competitor Kalif Ward heaps pulled pork onto nachos at Sunday's Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition.

Drew C. Wilson | Times

Cook-off competitor Kalif Ward heaps pulled pork onto nachos at Sunday's Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition.

Barbecue competition judge John Atkinson tastes a rib at Sunday's Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition.

Drew C. Wilson | Times

Barbecue competition judge John Atkinson tastes a rib at Sunday's Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition.

Barbecue competition judge John Atkinson tastes a rib at Sunday's Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition.
Kalif Ward, winner of the Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition, sauces up a rack of ribs during Sunday's event.
Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition attendees crowd around cook Brad Knight’s grill on Sunday.
Shaniqua White, left, Shelina Batts and Charlene Carson, all of Wilson, enjoy barbecue together at Sunday's Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition.
Competitor Brad Knight of Wilson waits for judges during Sunday's Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition.
Vendor Evony Alexander holds her 10-month-old son, Kristopher Alexander, at Sunday's Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition.
Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition judges pose for a photograph. From left are Cassidy Lucas, Patrice Ruffin, Jasmine Williams. John Atkinson and Jamesia Tann.
Cook-off competitor Kalif Ward heaps pulled pork onto nachos at Sunday's Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition.

dwilson@wilsontimes.com | 252-265-7818

Kalif Ward is the winner of the Juneteenth Family Cookout and Grill Master Competition held Sunday in downtown Wilson.

Ward is the owner of Rolling SmoQue, a business he runs with Shania Jackson and other family members.

“Low and slow. Take your time. You can’t rush the meat,” said Ward. “That’s one of our mottos. We are always on the meat’s time.”

Ward and fellow Wilson cook Brad Knight cooked up chicken, turkey legs, ribs, pulled pork, hot dogs and pulled pork nachos in the competition sponsored and organized by 252 Black Wall Street next to the 252 HQ store at 222 Tarboro St.

Organizer Khalilah Hamlett said the event featured vendors with a wide variety of products.

“I just wanted to have some type of celebration on Juneteenth,” Hamlett said. “I totally support the Juneteenth event next week. I am actually helping them as well, but I just wanted something for our people to do on Juneteenth so that we could celebrate freedom and togetherness and fellowship on today.”

Juneteenth celebrates the actual date of freedom for enslaved people in the United States — June 19, 1865, which came three years after the 1862 Emancipation Proclamation.

Saturday’s Juneteenth event is organized by Mount Hebron Masonic Lodge No. 42.

It will be located from East Nash Street to the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park and will begin at 9 a.m. to coincide with the opening of the Wilson Farmers and Artisan Market. The event will end at 6 p.m.

Headlining the event from 3-6 p.m. will be the music of EnVision from Winston-Salem. The band’s music runs from R&B to beach music, pop, dance, funk and jazz.

More than 60 vendors will offer crafts, and some will sell food and drinks.

“I hope everyone comes out this weekend,” Hamlett said. “It’s going to be a wonderful event.”

For more information, visit www.wilsonjuneteenthfestival.com.

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