TULSA, Okla. (KFOR) – Less than a mile away from where President Trump is holding his campaign rally on Saturday, there will be a two-day Juneteenth celebration held in the historic Greenwood District.
Organizers expect anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 people to attend, and they want to make the celebration as safe as possible.
“This event is not here to distract,” Tyrance Billingsley, community leader and local activist, told KFOR. “This event is to draw focus to something that should be at the forefront of all of America’s minds.”
The gates open at 11 a.m. on Friday, and the event takes place behind the Vernon A.M.E. Church.
“We’re making sure everything is nice by A) having masks. We’ll be incorporating social distancing. We’ll be organizing, making sure all of our people are well hydrated,” Billingsley said. “Making sure our environment is safe.”
Officials say a local non-profit donated 26,000 masks to hand out to people attending.
There will also be food trucks and other vendors, all with social distancing safety measures in place.
“We’re going to be a good example,” Billingsley said. “We’re going to make sure everything is organized and peaceful, and we are going to make absolutely sure this is a productive and beautiful event.”
Previously, Gov. Kevin Stitt said he wanted President Trump to tour Greenwood before the Saturday rally, but he walked back on that suggestion on Wednesday.
“That’s something Senator Lankford and I have recommended that he not make that visit just because of the disruption to the celebration on June 19th, the day before,” Stitt said. “However, we’re trying to get Vice President Pence to have a sit down on Saturday and we should have some great discussions with him, so we look forward to that.”
Organizers say whether the President visits or not, that’s not what this weekend is about.
“Holding this goes beyond Trump, it’s not about him,” Billingsley said. “We’re holding this because our country is in an amazing, incredibly, difficult spot right now.”