Hundreds showed up to Juneteenth Festival in Meridian

Published: Jun. 27, 2021 at 10:58 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The city hall lawn was packed with hundreds of people celebrating the annual Juneteenth Heritage Festival in the Queen City.

Juneteenth Festivals are held all over the country to celebrate slaves being informed of their freedom on June 19th, 1865. Locals celebrated that freedom that once wasn’t given to all who lived in the country.

Many people came out to the event to enjoy good food, music, and words of wisdom.

“To me, the big message is about celebrating our freedom. It is so good to see everyone come out to celebrate here in Meridian,” said local Antonio Altman.

Mayor Percy Bland shares how this celebration goes beyond what the surface provides.

“This is about our history. It goes back about 156 years ago. Today’s event is about a story of our history and heritage. We are excited about the turnout. We are also excited to give the people an opportunity to hear the history of Juneteenth. I am glad that we were able to celebrate this event tonight,” said Mayor Bland.

We spoke with a musician that shares what makes this event special for him.

“This event celebrates freedom. We now have the freedom to live our dreams and do whatever we want. It gives us the opportunity to do the impossible, as well as, the thing you weren’t able to do before,” said local musician Randy Ferino.

Felecia Brown shared what Juneteenth means to her.

“I am happy to be able to celebrate this with my son to let him know many people died for our freedom. I am glad he is here witnessing the hard work dedication and the good fight,” she said.

“When Juneteenth first showed up in Meridian, it was a private function. In the past 3 years, Mayor Bland brought this celebration to city hall. I want to thank him for that,” said local Betty Jones.

City of Meridian employees will observe the new Juneteenth federal holiday Monday, June 28.

City hall will be closed tomorrow in observance.

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