Inaugural Juneteenth Celebration kicks off in downtown Dothan
DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Saturday marks Juneteenth, the new federal and state holiday that commemorates the time enslaved people in Galveston, Texas found out they were free in June 1865.
That was about two years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the southern states.
Celebrations have been going on across the nation, including right here in the Circle City.
The Tri-State Expo’s Juneteenth celebration kicked off with a parade in downtown at 10 a.m. A horse and buggy carrying the Grand Marshall Deborah Pearson and Juneteenth queens, as well as the Buffalo Soldiers were among those who participated.
Musical entertainment, vendors and the kids zone area were moved inside the Dothan Civic Center due to the storms that moved through.
We spoke with several people who tell us they were excited about the event.
“Seeing as how this is a celebration of reflection, reflecting on our past and also celebrating on our present, it’s just been an amazing process thus far,” said Leah McKay, spokesperson for the Tri-State Expo.
“I’m honored to be here and I’m appreciative of how far we’ve come as far as knowing our history. I can personally say that I didn’t know a lot about Juneteenth until the past couple of years,” said attendee Estella McGriff.
Several chefs cooked food for the event. There were also demonstration performances.
Organizers say they’re already preparing for next years Juneteenth celebration.
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