Volunteers needed for Albany’s annual Juneteenth celebration

The city of Albany is getting ready for its annual Juneteenth celebration and volunteers are needed for the event.

This year’s event will be held on Saturday, June 18 on South Pearl Street.

South Pearl Street will be closed from Madison Avenue to Morton Avenue for the festival.

Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. It has been celebrated for over 100 years, and it just became a federal holiday in 2021 after President Biden signed it into law.

Albany has been hosting events to mark Juneteenth for 18 years. This year’s event will be a street festival, with over 100 vendors expected.

More than 6,000 people attended the celebration in 2021, and organizers are expecting up to 10,000 attendees in 2022.

Travon Jackson, the executive director for the African American Cultural Center of the Capital Region, says they are still in need of volunteers.

"Volunteering is the core principle of what we do at Juneteenth. We think it’s important for people who consider themselves to be outside of this neighborhood, to have a safe space to engage and volunteering is a wonderful place to do that," Jackson said. "It’s greeting people, it’s directing folks to where the vendor stations are, it’s supervising the children as they play, and it’s passing out information to people who want, need, and deserve it."

If you’re interested, you can apply to become a volunteer here. After completion, you’re asked to contact African American Cultural Center’s staff to set up an appointment.

"We want to make sure that people who volunteer are in a space not only physically, emotionally, and mentally, but also just from a place of peace to enjoy the time they’re going to spend volunteering," Jackson said. "It is a very active and hectic day. There are thousands of people. So despite best intentions, sometimes people just need a more peaceful outlet to contribute. So that’s why we have initial conversations, so we can best place you where you’ll have the greatest time and impact."

The deadline to apply is June 13.