Juneteenth Celebration set for Saturday

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The first public Juneteenth Celebration in Pearl River County will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 at J.P. Johnson Park, said Akim Ceaser, Pearl River County Juneteenth Committee co-chair.

Juneteenth is a holiday on June 19 to celebrate the end of slavery, Ceaser said. While the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect in 1863, people were still enslaved in Texas until June 19, 1865, Ceaser said. Juneteenth originated in Texas as a celebration of that day of freedom, Ceaser said.

“A lot of people still have never heard of Juneteenth, so we’re hoping to educate and entertain,” Ceaser said.

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Saturday’s event will feature a praise and worship service performed by City Wide Worship and performances from local hip-hop artists including Supa Joe Da Prince, HunDun Yung and Mandi C Champagne, Ceaser said. There will also be local food vendors, games for kids and dancing, she said.

“We reached out to all areas of the community because we want everybody to come out and learn something,” Ceaser said.

The committee only began planning the celebration 35 days ago, Ceaser said, but everything came together quickly because people in the community were excited about the event.

Every year Ceaser posts on Facebook asking if anyone wants to put together a Juneteenth celebration and this year there was a strong response, she said. That Facebook post led to a six person planning committee who used their community knowledge to find entertainment and food vendors, she said.

“We got a lot of support from the older members of the community,” Ceaser said. “Ladies on committee really just jumped in.”

The committee hopes the event educates, entertains and builds community, Ceaser said. The group plans to organize an even bigger celebration for the next year, Ceaser said.