Day of Unity, Legends celebration to mark Juneteenth in Natchez
Published 6:47 pm Friday, June 2, 2023
Traditional events and new offerings will be part of Natchez’s Juneteenth celebrations this month.
The activities begin on June 14, with the Fourth Annual Day of Unity Recognition Ceremony at 5:30 p.m. at Zion Chapel AME Church. The event, which is open to the public, includes the ringing of church bells throughout the city to herald “The Call to Unity.” The day, designed in 2020 by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, “is intended to remind us to continue to combat racial inequities and injustice in our country and seek unity among citizens and those charged to protect it,” according to a statement from Mayor Dan Gibson.
“I feel strongly about the importance of an annual reminder of Juneteenth and our need to be ever mindful that we are one community,” he said. “This year, we want to take it to new level.
Email newsletter signup
On Saturday, June 17, the mayor and city will present what he has called an exciting new event: the Legends Celebration 2023: A Musical Tribute for Juneteenth.
The celebration will feature entertainers representing a wide range of Mississippi music, including gospel, blues, R&B and jazz, with performances by Dorothy Moore, YZ Ealey “The Blues Man”, Grammy winner Alvin Youngblood Hart, Alvin Shelby and the Legends Celebration Choir, as well as Mississippi’s International Musical Ambassador Ora Reed.
The entertainers will represent a wide range of Mississippi music including Gospel, Blues, R&B and Jazz, with performances by Dorothy Moore, YZ Ealey “The Blues Man”, Grammy Winner Alvin Youngblood Hart, Alvin Shelby and the Legends Celebration Choir, as well as Mississippi’s International Musical Ambassador Ora Reed.
“Ora Reed has said Natchez is her favorite city, and the idea of this concert was spawned during the Dorothy Moore soul festival concert on the Bluff last year,” Gibson said
This event will present a program honoring and featuring many entertainers of legendary status from the region both past and present, covering various genres and artists. Presented in awards show type format with video reels, culminating with a performance from the Grammy Nominee Dorothy Moore.
The honorees include: The Mississippi Mass Choir, Bud Scott, Walter Barnes, The Williams Brothers Gospel, Cassandra Wilson, Hound Dog Taylor & The House Rockers, Daisy Newman, Larry Brown, Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield, and a special tribute to the victims of the Rhythm Night Club fire tragedy of 1940, along with Walter Barnes and The Royal Creolians who were the band for that tragic evening.
The event takes place at the Natchez City Auditorium and will be appropriate for all ages.
Title sponsors include Gibson, The City of Natchez and Taco Bell.
Supporting sponsors are Magnolia Bluffs Casino and Hotel and Visit Natchez.
Media Sponsors are Mid-South Broadcasting, WTYJ 97.7 The Beat, Listen Up Y’all Media, The Natchez Democrat, The Bluff City Post and NatVid Life & Style.
Contributing sponsors are Entergy Mississippi, Delta Bank, Natchez Balloon Festival, Little Easy Tours and Sparklight.
Additional sponsors include Home Bank, Coca-Cola, Copiah-Lincoln Community College, United Mississippi Bank, Natchez Ford, Mississippi Auto Direct, Pilgrimage Garden Club, Merit Health, Concordia Bank and Trust and Southwest Distributors.
Ticket prices range from $15 to $50, and can be purchased in advance at www. magnoliasessions.org or at the door. VIP tables and sponsorships are still available. Inquire at www.magnoliasessions.org.