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Newberry hosts Inaugural Juneteenth celebration

After months of planning and preparation, the inaugural Newberry Juneteenth is set for Saturday, June 19, 2021 from 10 am to 3 pm in Downtown Newberry.

NEWBERRY, S.C. — The City of Newberry is gearing up to host the first annual Newberry Juneteenth celebration.   According to organizers, the events focus is to share stories, taste food, listen to music, talk about freedom and see local area talent.

Juneteenth, also called "Emancipation day" or "Juneteenth Independence Day," is a holiday celebrated on the 19th of June to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people in the US.   The holiday was first celebrated in Texas, where on that date in 1865, in the aftermath of the Civil War, enslaved people were declared free under the terms of the 1862 Emancipation Proclamation.  

On Friday, News19's Brandon Taylor spoke with several organizers including; Newberry Councilwoman Jackie Holmes and Mary Alex Kopp with the Town of Newberry.

"We're really running the gambit of what you would expect to see in a festival," said Kopp. "We will have lots of vendors up and down Main Street representing various black owned businesses."

The Newberry Juneteenth celebration will be held on Saturday, June 19.  The day’s activities will begin officially at 10:00 am, but those wishing to show support for the celebration of freedom are invited to participate in the Juneteenth march at 9:30 am. 

Credit: Wltx

There will also be a Juneteenth History exhibit in the Newberry Opera House lobby that is open to the public through the month of June. 

The exhibit features a timeline-oriented booklet discussing events in Black history that lead to the events of Juneteenth Freedom Day in 1865 and beyond, an artistic rendering of the history timeline in the form of a large-scale canvas mural, videos celebrating the holiday, and artifacts highlighting Newberry’s black history.

Credit: WLTX

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