For the last five years, Stop the Violence Pittsburgh founder William B. Marshall has held Juneteenth events celebrating the 1865 emancipation of Blacks in America at Market Square, Downtown. The multi-day festivals have included historical jubilee parades, gospel groups, a Kids Fun Zone, vendors, African dance troupes and national entertainment acts at Market Square.
Marshall wrote in a New Pittsburgh Courier Letter to the Editor (Aug. 2) that he sought a permit to hold next year’s Juneteenth Celebration at Point State Park. However, he was told by park manager Jacob Weiland he would need a $10,000 refundable deposit.
Now, thanks to the sponsorship of the Heinz Endowments, Pittsburgh’s Juneteenth Celebration will, indeed, be held at The Point for the first time.
“We’re very happy to have the opportunity,” Marshall told the Courier exclusively, Sept. 19. “So now, it’s just going through the application process and making it happen. However, because of the timing of the Three Rivers Arts Festival, we’ll be having our event just a bit later. It will be Saturday, June 23 and Sunday, June 24, and it will be called the ‘Juneteenth Celebration and Black Music Festival.’”
In the August 2 letter written by Marshall that appeared in the Courier, Marshall said Weiland told him that in addition to the deposit, he would also have to take out a $300,000 insurance policy to cover all potential “property damage.”
“I explained to Mr. Weiland that we provide up to $3,000,000 event insurance which also includes “renter’s premise insurance coverage,” Marshall wrote.