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Fourth Annual Juneteenth Celebration

Juneteenth is a time for family, friends, and community to celebrate freedom. Here at Nova Labs, we bring people together to celebrate over a community cookout with fun activities and great food. It has become one of our biggest events of the year. 

This was the fourth annual Juneteenth celebration Nova Labs has hosted, and every year we’ve needed to add longer tables and more chairs than the year before to accommodate increasing awareness and interest in the holiday. Over 80 people participated this year! It turned out to be a great opportunity to witness and celebrate our growing diversity, too, and specifically the increased number of black individuals and families who have joined our maker community over the last couple of years. 

We’re grateful for the nearly 30 volunteers who kept things running smoothly and stress-free, and for everyone who brought food! 

Steve, Rashid and John ran the grill and learned a few lessons along the way. First, ribs always take longer than you’d expect. Second, you can never have enough hot dogs! Third, definitely splurge on the gluten-free soy sauce so everyone can enjoy the bulgogi. And last, especially when it comes to grilling bulgogi, we’re gonna need some grill pans next year so we don’t lose so much food through the grates! 

In addition to great food and community, our makers also offered some unique entertainment. Walter and Pamela brought a telescope so people could look for sunspots and prominences. Using his Celestron Edge HD 9.25 SCT with a DayStar Chromosphere Filter to view the sun safely, we were able to see the chromosphere layer of the sun and numerous sunspots. 

Rocio set up a ceramics station for people to make and paint their own Freedom Bells. These ceramic bells will be glazed and fired, and once they’re done, their ring will sound beautiful! Ceramics is such a great medium. It’s friendly to makers at all skill levels, and always has the possibility to surprise you!  

Our amazing event organizers are already thinking about ways to take Juneteenth 2025 to the next level. There are discussions about adding a game of trivia with a focus on Juneteenth, more projects, more entertainment, and most importantly, more ways to incorporate education about the importance and history of Juneteenth. If you have any ideas or would like to volunteer to make next year’s event even bigger and better, contact Jennyfer and let her know what you can bring to the Junenteenth table!

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