For many years JuneFest was a staple in the Wedgewood community and then it was gone. This past weekend it returned and was a success. Under the chairmanship of Larry D. Williams, JuneFest 2016 was an opportunity for the community to come together for a joyous occasion as it leaves the debilitating issue of active pits in their past.
This reboot of JuneFest offered something for everyone. The children had activities provided by the Beautiful People of the South (BEPOTS), motivational speaker Rod Johnson, author Jeremie Samuel, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Mounted Unit, and other vendors. Don Madison presented information on fitness for people 50 and older. Living portrait artist Carter J! was there to create portraits and display his art. Some other participants included the University of Florida IFAS extension, Let’s Go Escambia, County Commissioner Lumon May, Police Chief
David Alexander, III and several candidates for public office.
There were some competitive events going on through the day and near the end of the day the winners were announced. The Moultrie’s Family BBQ was the winner of the BBQ contest. Judges for the contest were City of Pensacola Chief of Police David Alexander, Robert Hill of WRNE 980 am/CHOICE, and Jacqueline Miles of The Pensacola Voice. Nine-year-old Natalie Reed was the Mayor for the Day and was given time to read her winning essay.
Entertainment was on stage all day. Pensacola’s Prancing Pirouettes got the crowd warmed up with their high energy performance. Three local hip hop artists Dione, Twist, and Foolizh Wayz, entertained the crowd with their original music. International gospel artist Pastor Bozeman and the Sounds of the Gulf Coast performed until the heavy rain returned. Pensacola native and music legend Will Easley provided the event with a fantastic indoor finale.
The media partner for the day was Hill, and his community station WRNE 980 am/CHOICE 106.9. CHOICE provided all day coverage, and many of their on-air personalities were on hand. DJ Pastor Troy and DJ David provided event coverage. TJ, from Relationship Thursdays, was the MC. DJ Southern Soul also provided assistance on the 1s and 2s. Other media partners included The Pensacola Voice and Magic 106.1
After the event, I spoke with Williams, and he had nothing but complimentary words for CHOICE 106.9. “Listen, the coverage that 106.9 gave us was incredible. It was more than I expected. With Mr. Hill and his people showing up and staying, I’m grateful.” Williams also praised his team, LaFanette Soles-Woods, and Georgia Sunday, for their help in making the event happen. According to Williams, “We are so happy with the participation from the community. Our vendors, participants, and attendees made this a great way to return to our JuneFest tradition. We have more planned for Wedgewood and promise we’ll be back on June 10, 2017.”