City holds annual Juneteenth celebration

Juneteenth is an official annual holiday in 29 states. Celebrated on June 19, it commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery. Also known as Freedom Day, Juneteenth was brought about when the Emancipa-tion Proclamation created by President Abraham Lincoln had been issued on Sept. 22, 1862, with an effective date of Jan. 1, 1863. Even then it had little immediate effect on most slaves’ day-to-day lives.
While it took some time for everyone to get the word then, the word always spreads quickly about the annual Juneteenth observance in Grambling, an event that draws visitors from all over.
Juneteenth is traditionally celebrated with a large feast and various activities, and Grambling lived up to that tradition.
The city held its annual Juneteenth celebration last month with various events that lasted five days.
Highlights of the observance were music and dance performances, a barbecue cook-off, car show, Miss Juneteenth Pageant, and plenty of good food.
Grambling’s Juneteenth festival kicked off June 11 in Memorial Park with and old-fashioned prayer meeting and watermelon feast. The popular feature “Conversations Under the Tent,” where longtime residents of the community talk about the city’s rich history, was also part of the opening ceremony.
The Miss Juneteenth Pageant was on June 12, and “Trash Bash” was the highlight of June’s 13’s activities.
The Juneteenth Parade, with Dr. Helen Richards Smith as grand marshal, followed a walk-a-thon on June 14.
After the parade, the day’s activities included entertainment, a car show, a baking contest and theater production. he night ended with a party in Grambling Memorial Park.
The2008 Juneteenth Heritage Festival wrapped up June 15 with a fishing tournament and Father’s Day Barbecue Cook-Off.