Community says this year’s Juneteenth celebration is extra special

Published: Jun. 18, 2021 at 10:08 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 11:17 PM CDT
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POCAHONTAS, Ark. (KAIT) -Juneteenth celebrates freedom and the date June 19, 1865, the day that hundreds of thousands of enslaved people learned they had been freed. Some people in Pocahontas say the holiday is just as important as the Fourth of July.

Pocahontas has been celebrating Juneteenth as a community since 2008, but they say this year is more special because it’s now a federal, nationally recognized holiday.

On Friday, Pocahontas kicked off their Juneteeth celebration with a Harriet Tubman presentation. The Rendezvous Event Center was packed with all ages, all eager to learn about an important part of history and the struggles that many enslaved African Americans faced.

Volunteer Patricia Taylor says we should never forget our history.

“It is to showcase freedom. It’s important for our heritage, for our culture, for our people. I’m glad that it has become a national holiday, oh man, that is so, it makes me very proud,” said Taylor.

Marti Little the community partnerships director says Juneteenth is a crucial day for the community to come together and celebrate how far society has come.

“Juneteenth signifies the end of slavery. Can you imagine how different our community would be if people were still enslaved? So it’s an event quite worth celebrating,” said Little.

The festivities will last all day Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m. There will be plenty of activities for the children, along with a barbecue cook-off and a first responder basketball tournament at the Eddie Mae Herron Center.

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