Juneteenth event to be held next Saturday

Published 9:00 am Thursday, June 8, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

On June 17, the third annual Juneteenth celebration will take place at Eastside Park on Niles Street from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19 each year and recognizes the end of slavery in the United States. Specifically, the date recognizes June 19, 1865, when the final slaves were freed in Galveston, Texas — more than two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth was recognized as a federal holiday in 2021.

Lashieka Ferrell, event organizer, said the first year got rained out but the second year was a success with about nine vendors.

“Last year was an awesome event, but this year we’re taking it to another level,” Ferrell said. “We’re going to be giving away prizes, scholarships, we’ll have nonprofits out there to help the community. Councilman Leon (Childs) will be there with Groundswell to help with the weatherization and so much more to give back to the community,” Ferrell said.

She said there will also be dancers, singers, a poet and a DJ.

Ferrell said they are giving away a $500 scholarship to one recipient and hope to do more in the future.

“We had several applicants this year, and it was hard to choose because all of them had excellent credentials and were active in the community. But next year our goal is to have more scholarships,” Ferrell said.

She said the event has been a community effort with many organizations coming together to help make the event a success.

“All the money that has been poured into this event has come from the community. None of the money that has been spent on this event has come out of pocket, it came from the community by the way of donations, vendor fees or people just paying for things — for example, our stage that we will have performances on,” Ferrell said. “All the support has been overwhelming but in the best way possible. This event couldn’t have happened without our community.”

Ferrell said the event will include about 40 vendors this year.

“It feels awesome to have so many local businesses interested in coming out to support our event. Most of them, with the exception of I think one or two, are vendors from businesses from right here in the Troup County area,” Ferrell said.

Admission to get in the event is free and is open to everyone, Ferrell said.

“We need to work as a village, and I want to bring that community spirit back into our neighborhood,” Ferrell said.