Brampton celebrating Emancipation Day with food truck festival on Aug. 1

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Published July 24, 2021 at 2:04 am

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The City of Brampton is holding a food truck festival as part of Emancipation Day events next month.

The event on Sunday, Aug. 1 will begin with an in-person flag raising at Ken Whillans Square at 10 a.m., followed by a food truck festival with music and entertainment from 12 noon to 8 p.m. in Emancipation Park (7599 Dixie Rd.). Since Ontario is in Step 3 of its reopening plan and attendance at outdoor gatherings is limited, registration is required. To register to attend the flag raising or book a table for the food truck festival, visit brampton.ca/events.

Emancipation Day is recognized globally as the day to commemorate the abolition of slavery of people of African descent. Brampton began officially celebrating the occasion in 2020, when Dixie 407 Sports Park was renamed Emancipation Park.

“In the past year the city’s anti-Black racism unit has worked tirelessly to connect with Brampton’s Black community to have meaningful discussions about our current environment and opportunities for growth and support,” Wards 7 and 8 City Councillor Charmaine Williams said in a statement.

“Emancipation Day is a way for us to connect with the entire community to celebrate Brampton’s Black heritage and culture, and continue those conversations.”

An addition to the Emancipation Day events is the Passing the Torch Awards. Introduced by the city’s economic empowerment and anti-Black racism unit, the awards are intended to be a recognition program that brings together Black youth and trailblazers. 

“It is so important that younger generations are engaged with and encouraged to continue the work of emancipation throughout the world,” said Gwyneth Chapman, who is a senior advisor for the city’s economic empowerment and anti-Black racism unit. “On August 1, we are making it a priority to honour those who have made a way for us and use their legacy to inspire future leaders … The Passing the Torch Awards will acknowledge Black young achievers who are making a positive change in the community.”

Keynote speaker Zanana Akande will introduce the awards program in Ken Whillans Square following the flag raising. Akande is the first Black woman to have been a member of provincial parliament in Ontario and also the first woman from the African diaspora to serve as a cabinet minister in Canada. 

(Cover image via the City of Brampton.)

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