Valdosta Commemorates End to Slavery with Juneteenth Celebration

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-- Valdosta, Ga. -- June 23, 2012 --

Juneteenth is a celebration that commemorates the abolishment of slavery in this country. It spans through various states including Florida and Texas.. but this party was in Valdosta. More than three hundred people came out to enjoy the festivities. The event highlighted when slaves in Texas were freed.. which took a lot longer than in Washington.

The choir director of a local choir, Taurence Phillips said "It was two years later after the emancipation proclomation in 1863 so they recieved their freedom in 1865."

Chief J.D. Rice of the Valdosta Fire Department said "they didn't have all the modern technology that they have now like telephones and things. So they had to travel by horse. So it took that time to get from Washington DC to Texas."

This years event also gave people an opportunity to participate in Georgia's upcoming primary elections on July 31st.

Valdosta Resident Hayden Kilburn said "we just met a guy who was standing there and he started letting us know about registering to vote and everything. My friend has been trying to talk me into it for a while actually. And I just thought it would be a good idea in order to get my voice heard."

This event marked the twentieth year that Valdosta has celebrated Juneteenth.