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Juneteenth event in Town of Tonawanda gets new location after planning mishap

Juneteenth Community BBQ
Posted at 9:14 PM, Jun 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-17 10:52:33-04

TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW) — The first "Juneteenth Community BBQ" will take place this Saturday outside 317 Ensminger Rd, which is next to the location it was originally planned to be at.

Myles Stubblefield said supervisors at the Ensminger Senior Center approved him to have the event in the center's parking lot but that location needs to be approved by the Town of Tonawanda. Stubblefield said he never spoke to the town.

Flyers were printed with the senior center's address, and Stubblefield said in the "11th hour" he was notified by the town that he couldn't have an event there.

7 News spoke to the Town of Tonawanda Supervisor, Joseph H. Emminger. He said proper planning needs to take place for organized events, and it was a "misunderstanding" of what was being approved.

Stubblefield said he looked at the bright side to stay positive and still hold the event for the community, now just next to the senior center. It will be an outdoor event in the parking lot of the building he rents.

The BBQ will feature a DJ, food, vendors and plenty of celebrating the African American heritage.

"I think the opportunity to expand on something that's in Buffalo is imminent," said Stubblefield.

The Juneteenth celebration in Buffalo is one of the largest in the country, but Stubblefield wants to expand celebrations beyond the city line.

According to the most recent U.S. Census, more than 35% of people in Buffalo are black, compared to around 5% in the Town of Tonawanda.

"It's important we reach out to all community in time of healing," said Stubblefield.

The event is free and begins at 1 p.m. Proceeds from items sold will go to the Juneteenth Headquarters in downtown Buffalo. Its roof collapsed in May.