Third annual Juneteenth Celebration held over weekend

Published 9:45 am Tuesday, June 20, 2023

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On a Saturday filled with sunshine and celebration, the third annual Juneteenth celebration took place.

Juneteenth is a federal holiday celebrated on June 19 each year and recognizes the end of slavery in the United States on June 19, 1865, when the final slaves were freed in Galveston, Texas.

Lashieka Ferrell, event organizer, said the festival had a great turnout.

“We had an awesome time. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, the performances were excellent, and I think it was a great event,” Ferrell said.

Ferrell estimates over 200 people attended the festival.

“I am so happy with how the festival turned out. I think it was a successful event, and I am so proud of it. I can’t wait until next year,” Ferrell said.

During the festival, Ferrell said they gave out approximately $1,500 worth of scholarships to four soon-to-be college students.

“I was overwhelmed and overjoyed to be able to give out more than one scholarship. The money came in the day before the event and the person who sent the money wanted me to give out more scholarships,” Ferrell said. “To be able to help more students with the scholarship was a blessing, and I am thankful to everyone that donated.”

The festival included local Black-owned businesses ranging from fashion, art, books and food.

Jakiyae and Jeremiah Dukes of J&J Lemonade Stand said they were excited to be at the festival.

“I’m happy that we got to be here today, selling our lemonade and celebrating our freedom,” Jeremiah said.

The nine-year-old twins are the owners of J&J Lemonade Stand, which along with the sweet drink, sells themed accessories ranging from keychains, notebooks, bookmarks and more.

The owner’s grandmother, Amelia Hardy, said the twins have owned their business for three years.

“Their older brother wanted to do this when he was younger but didn’t get the chance to do it. So, they were inspired by him along with another little girl they saw doing a lemonade stand,” Hardy said.

“Along with Mom and Dad as well as myself, we have been supporting them and will continue to do so until they don’t want to do it anymore.”

Anita Fannin of Anita’s Creative Croc Designs said she was happy to be at the festival and among so many other unique businesses. 

“I have been designing Crocs for about three years. When I was at home injured, I couldn’t do anything else so this came to me in a vision, and I started to design Crocs with different materials,” Fannin said. “It’s a beautiful thing to be out here, and I feel like it’s going to be a good day for everybody.”