Home Local News “Come break bread with us.” Sun Prairie Juneteenth Celebration set for Saturday

“Come break bread with us.” Sun Prairie Juneteenth Celebration set for Saturday


Celebrations coming up for Juneteenth are just around the corner, and while Madison has plenty of fun activities and events planned, Sun Prairie residents won’t have to go far from home to have a good time. The Sun Prairie Juneteenth Celebration will be returning this year to Wetmore Park on Saturday, June 17, 2-5:30 p.m.

The day will mark the second official celebration of Juneteenth, but will also be yet another recognition of the holiday in a long line of community-organized events. What was once a tradition of families and community coming together has developed into a full-fledged city event with its own planning team and community support. One of the people on that planning team is Teran Peterson, who was excited to share all that has developed over one short year. 

“We’ve got fresh cooks that are going to be whipping up food,” Peterson, a program manager of Neighborhood Navigators for the City of Sun Prairie, told Madison365. “We didn’t have any negative feedback, but we had some folks that said, ‘We want to hear and see a little bit more history of Juneteenth rather than it just be a celebratory event.’ We took that feedback, and the Black Storytellers Alliance will be there this year. I think that the reception of the community is them showing up the way that they did and in the numbers that they did.”

Along with community organizations like the Boy and Girls Club, the event has also seen support from the community itself. Enough to drive the location change to Wetmore Park with plenty of room for multiple activities and even more families in attendance. Fellow planning team member Jake King spoke on how making the event a yearly recurrence speaks to the adaptation of a growing Sun Prairie. 

“I do feel like we have a spirit of collaboration here of folks wanting to see things that are built around celebrating diversity,” said King, communications & diversity strategist for the City of Sun Prairie. “Not just one-off things, like we’ll just do this one-time event. We had a Juneteenth Celebration one time, but we’re trying to build it in for a forever thing. When people come to Sun Prairie, we just have these things that are now part of that change.” 

Focusing on experiences and what works is a big part of the process, and the Sun Prairie Juneteenth Celebration is hoping to bring out everyone interested. One large draw is food, and the global connector does its job well in building community among attendees. 

“I know it sounds very trite, or very ‘Eat Pray Love,’ but there is something about breaking bread. When you have food, it’s just a common thing that everyone likes,” King said, thinking of how the community comes together for Juneteenth. 

Peterson agreed with the sentiments also adding in excitement for involvement from the Sun Prairie Black Student Union in this year’s festivities. 

“There’s something holistic about sharing a meal together, with people that you don’t look like,” said Peterson. “People that you don’t even see often. There’s something so essential to breaking bread with people. I’m most looking forward to something new. We are inviting the Sun Prairie BSU to lead a little mini-camp.” 

A previous Sun Prairie Juneteenth Celebration

The importance of regularly hosting events that feel welcoming to various people is crucial, and Juneteenth is no exception. At a time that looks to celebrate Black freedom and achievement, it is important to invite everyone to come be in community with those looking to do the same.

“I think that it’s okay to be uncomfortable sometimes, but the idea of Juneteenth isn’t to make white folks uncomfortable,” Peterson assured. “That’s not a secret mission. I think Juneteenth really is a celebration. It is a day for folks to come out, and we have never had any issues at Sun Prairie. I see this as an opportunity to welcome folks into my circle and to my network and to my family, who maybe have been disengaged before.”

Although there are always opportunities for growth and areas of tension in growing communities, it is important to remember the people who are there. The Sun Prairie Juneteenth Celebration hopes to serve as an example of who and what may be there if you take a chance to go see for yourself.

Kids play at a previous Sun Prairie Juneteenth Celebration.

“Sun Prairie does have different races here, and people that look different,” said King. “It’s funny, whether it’s the Multicultural Fair or Juneteenth or some of the other events, people do come out and they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, there is actual diversity in Sun Prairie.’”

The event will be free and is open to everyone on Saturday, June 17, 2-5:30 p.m. at Wetmore Park, 555 North St, Sun Prairie. 

“Come break bread with us,” Peterson said in closing. “It’s free food, a live DJ, and performances from a bunch of different local Sun Prairie folks all throughout the day. It’s a beautiful location; this place is just phenomenal.”