Juneteenth Celebration Begins In Jamestown

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JAMESTOWN – The Juneteenth planning committee met yesterday evening to organize the events slated for the upcoming weekend to celebrate the holiday locally.

Serving as a celebration of freedom and equality for members of the African American community, while the day is now an official holiday, it has been a part of the Jamestown community for the past 20 years.

“This is the first year it is a national holiday, and we’re very excited about it, so excited that we tried to step our game up this year,” said James Bess, a part of the planning committee.

Jamestown Councilwoman Regina Brackman expressed her gratitude to her planning committee and the community involvement as well. 

“Everything that we do for this Jamestown Juneteenth is so that we can award scholarships to graduating high school seniors that are going to be pursuing a higher education,” Council woman and chairperson for the Juneteenth celebration, Regina Brackman.

The 3 day celebration starts Friday the 17th with a movie at the comedy center, Saturday will hold more activities, food, and a basket raffle, and Sunday, a Gospel-Fest will take place.

“I just want to recognize our committee. We did a lot of work and I think one thing he did say is that the community in general, organizations and businesses, really stepped up this year to help support Juneteenth,” 

With Juneteenth being a newer national holiday, there may be some confusion about what exactly the celebration is about, however, the celebration isn’t limited to just African Americans, anyone is welcome to partake.

“There’s a misconception that this is just a black holiday, and it’s not. It’s all inclusive, especially now, we want it to be all inclusive. Your ancestors may not have gone through slavery, but it did effect them. And a lot of people celebrated the freedom of slaves, and so no matter what color you are, if you were against slavery you should be here. Come out and enjoy and celebrate,” said Bess. 

The Annual Jamestown Juneteenth Festival officially begins on the 17th and runs until Sunday June 19th. The committee invites everyone to join in the festivities. 

Last year, while the celebration honored African American slaves, there was also a tree planting ceremony for the late Jamestown Councilwoman Victoria James. 

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