Otha P. Rice Sr., is credited with starting the Denver’s Juneteenth celebration in 1953. In the 1950s, Otha Rice helped establish and build the Five Points Juneteenth celebration. Juneteenth is a commemoration of the day that slaves received the word that they’d been emancipated.
Rice was also a well-known businessman in the Five Points neighborhood. A graduate of Manual High School, he owned Rice’s Tap Room and oven. He remained a presence at the Five Points Juneteenth celebration, hosting the event until 1966.