Are you following parade route?

I was in Lawrence, Kansas, recently and accidentally ended up in the middle of the Juneteenth parade on Massachusetts street. At the conclusion of the parade at South Park, the celebration was happening, and I am glad I went with my cameras in tow.

As I started walking up the first street, I met BD who was cooking catfish. First off, BD moved to Kansas from Mississippi and he was cooking some of the nation’s finest catfish from the Delta farmers. I know because I was able to get a great taste of his efforts.

Trent Loos
Trent Loos

He agreed to an interview, as long as he could keep working, and the conversation was quite refreshing. BD talked about his day job driving a truck and only drives local routes to make sure he is done by 3 p.m. every day when his daughter gets off school. He told me nothing comes in front of him being a daddy.

Then I met Ben, the father of three kids, who works at a manufacturing facility that makes components for construction projects. We spoke of work ethic. What he sees around him is the lack of work ethic and how he dedicated himself to his work but nothing comes ahead of being that strong father figure his young kids need. Now keep in mind this conversation happened on June 17, 2023, the day before we officially celebrate Father’s Day. However, it was glaringly obvious that both of these men live with being a father on their mind 365 days a year.

Up on the stage the Juneteenth committee talked about the essay competition it had hosted and then awarded 16-year-old Levon Allen a $500 check for his award-winning essay. He read his words to the crowd about how everyone has anger and you can choose to use the emotion as a positive or let it control you and let evil win. In my one-on-one with him, he brought it all back to parenting and the importance of parents in kids’ lives.

Every single person I visited with at this celebration spoke of the celebration of culture. Not one of them spoke of culture within a racial tone but rather how we use these celebrations as a means of creating a culture of unity. They all agreed with me that there are far too many people, especially politicians, that seem to want to use these things as a divisive tool and we need to step up and use food as means of spreading love. Quite honestly that is biblical in the greatest sense.

Because of this event I have done a better job of researching how this country transitioned from slave ownership to a free people. It did not happen overnight. Texas had remote areas that either didn’t know slavery was now illegal or didn’t want to know. There was a brigade of Union soldiers that arrived in Galveston, Texas, and brought about the awareness everyone needed to finally free the last of the slaves.

The concept of Juneteenth Day and Father’s Day have one more thing in common. Both celebrations have roots within the church. Juneteenth started in a church in Galveston, Texas, in 1866, following the arrival of Union soldiers. Father’s Day was initiated in a West Virginia church on July 5, 1908.

We each make a choice on the way we celebrate our culture and quite honestly, I think that has been under attack for years now. The culture of the family unit is the key as we go forward and we must fight for strong families that have been under attack lately. From what I witnessed at one celebration, the culture of Juneteenth and Father’s Day have tremendous parallels. Now why would that be an accident when it is our Father in heaven who has laid the parade route of life. Again, it’s up to us how we follow it.

Editor’s note: The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not represent the views of High Plains Journal. Trent Loos is a sixth generation United States farmer, host of the daily radio show, Loos Tales, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a non-profit organization putting the human element back into the production of food. Get more information at, or email Trent at [email protected].