2nd annual Juneteenth Freedom Festival returning to Thomasville

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 9:03 PM EDT
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THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WCTV) - The 2nd annual Freedom Festival is returning to Thomasville in observance of Juneteenth.

After the Emancipation Proclamation had been signed, Union troops delivered the news. Texas was the last state to receive the news that slaves had been declared free. June 19 marked the day that the proclamation actually became true for every slave, celebrated as African American Independence day.

Several community organizations, including the Thomas County branch of the NAACP, No More Shackles Empowerment, the City of Thomasville, One Heartbeat Inc. and the Douglas High school Alumni Association will partner to host the festival.

“We’re hoping that people will take this opportunity to learn what Juneteenth is about and that it’s about freedom and it feels really good for our city council to have taken this initiative and to declare it a city holiday,” said City of Thomasville’s Public Outreach Manager Sherri Cain.

In May, the city announced that it will now recognize Juneteenth as a city holiday, even closing official buildings for observance.

NAACP President Lucinda Brown said the news came as a pleasant surprise to her, and as the city continues to move toward more inclusiveness, Brown shared that she believes this is a step in the right direction.

“Wow I was amazed just for a few words. Amazed,” Brown said.

As the community prepares for the Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, the hope is that others in the community will also make efforts toward togetherness.

“I’m sure there are a lot of people who had never heard of Juneteenth, and we didn’t learn that in school,” said Brown.

According to event creator Ucher Thomas Dent, there will be 99 vendors at the event, including bounce houses and educational opportunities for the community.

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