On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers led by Major General Gordon Granger landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the formerly enslaved were free. Yes, two years after Abe’s Emancipation Proclamation; the news hadn’t swept the Confederate state of Texas yet, seeing as there were such a small handful of Union soldiers to back it up. You can imagine the jubilee that followed was legendary.
Many former slaves’ descendants make an annual pilgrimage back to Galveston for Juneteenth, but if you’re not going to Texas to celebrate black freedom and achievement, you can stick around in the Triad and do just fine here.
Gilbert & Sullivan’s Ruddigore @ UNCG Auditorium (GSO) Otherwise known as The Witch’s Curse, this silly, old-timey supernatural romp comes to you from the same dudes behind Pirates of Penzance. (Think you haven’t heard of it? Go look up “Modern Major General.”) For the uninitiated, the low cost of entry and the removal of a language barrier may make this light English opera even…approachable. It runs Thursday through Saturday with evening performances and a Sunday matinee. Tickets and times via performingarts.uncg.edu.
“Birth of the Cool” Juneteenth Celebration @ New Winston Museum (W-S), 6 p.m. Diana Tuffin’s smooth stylings in various tongues and tones provide a multilingual backdrop for this monthlong photography exhibit showing how local artist Owen Daniels captured Miles Davis and other jazz musicians on film. Visit newwinston.org for more info about the event and exhibition.
Firearms Safe Surrender @ Waughtown Baptist Church (W-S), 9 a.m. Especially in the light of recent tragedy, Saturday could be a good day to safely pass off your unloaded firearms to the Winston-Salem Police Department if you’ve been thinking it’s time for them to go. They’ll take handguns, long guns, BB guns and airsoft guns, along with ammunition. All weapons being turned in should be secured in trunks or backs of pickup trucks, from which the officers will come to collect them. Contact Lt. Paterson at 336-773-7949 with questions.
1st Annual Best Burger Tournament @ Farmers Curb Market (GSO), Saturday, 9 a.m. OK, listen up, beefcakes. Emma Key’s, Libby Hill, Melt and Burger Warfare cook off to win your vote for Best Burger. (Sad that the actual Best Burger didn’t make the list.) Certifiable burger nerds will be present: Randy Barnes of the Hamburger Square blog emcees, while Greensboro Hamburger² author Billy Ingram will tell stories. Check gsofarmersmarket.org for details.
12th Annual Triad Juneteenth Festival @ Bailey Park and Biotech Place (W-S), 11 a.m. Set symbolically in what use to be an African-American business community, celebration of this historic black holiday in Winston will be wild with MCs Busta Brown and Dr. Kia Hood and a schedule including a black family forum, an Andrae Crouch and Daryl Coley tribute, and performers such as Cinnamon Reggae and the Renaissance Choir. You’ll get a “freedom train ticket” to be punched in each festival area. Try not to get obsessive about it. For more information, visit www.triadculture.org.
Friendge with Andrea Vail @ Shelf Life Art + Supply Co. (GSO), noon This Charlotte-based artist pays a visit to Greensboro to collect participant-made tassels for her ongoing project, Friendge, consisting of tassels pieced into fringe created by different communities she’s visited or collected from, to build an ornamental border that “symbolizes inclusiveness rather than exclusivity.” Participants will learn to make tassels and get to hang with Andrea. Shelf Life’s Cassandra hinted at her coolness. Drop-ins are welcome; RSVP recommended at tinyurl.com/friendge.
Juneteenth Luncheon @ Old Salem Visitor Center (W-S), noon Old Salem Museums & Gardens in partnership with Winston-Salem State University host an observance honoring the abolition of slavery and the 250th anniversary of Salem’s founding. Dr. Jon Sensbach, African Moravian scholar focused on 18th and 19th century Forsyth County history, will be the featured speaker, clearly. Guests can also tour the St. Philips African Moravian Church, where the ending of slavery was announced on May 21, 1865. Make reservations by calling 800-441-5305.
Chamber Crawl @ downtown (GSO), Saturday, 1 p.m. Eastern Music Festival Fringe and Classical Revolution Greensboro team up to present four chamber ensembles at nine downtown Greensboro venues (phew) including Collapss at the Green Bean and Scuppernong Books. So, if you see someone madly dashing across Elm St. with a cello in tow that night, that’s why. Encore performances will start at 5 p.m. at Gibb’s Hundred Brewing. Find the event on Facebook for a full schedule.
Backwards Broadway: A 40th Anniversary Gala @ High Point Community Theatre (HP), 7 p.m. The Triad’s standby musical performers will sing songs that they were never quite intended to sing, and you’ll want to be there. Numbers will be pulled from everything from the Music Man to more recent hits like Next to Normal. And gee whillikers, this theatre’s held up for 40 years? Cause enough to go out and unconsciously tap along. Find tickets by clicking here.
Tea time @ High Point Museum (HP), 1 p.m. Sip on the kinds of colonial-era teas that were so hot they got dumped in harbors. Learn about imports and tea grown in colonial gardens and learn about its power and the history behind its American Revolution boycott. All ages welcome; it’s drop-in. Visit highpointmuseum.org for info.
Juneteenth Jamboree @ 1006 West Florida St. (GSO), 2 p.m. Queer People of Color Collective’s lead organizer April Parker is throwing a Juneteenth bash on a friend’s property, and she’s pulled out all the stops: Food truck, vendors, and a graduation celebration for the class of 2016. As she says on the event page, “black joy is an act of resistance.” Powerful sentiment; a very likely good time. Find the event on Facebook.
Greensboro Community Makerspace Grand Opening @ Nussbaum Center (GSO), 10 a.m. There’s a new co-working space in town, though the kind of work you’ll get done there will be in the miniscule and plastic variety. That’s right: This makerspace is expressly for the purpose of Lego creations, and they have the 70,000 pieces to prove it. Sounds like a recipe for inner-7-year-old heaven. They’re in Suite 1107. Come say hi to the staff of Triad City Beat on the second floor when you stop by. See their Facebook page for more info.