City of Bluefield hosts fourth annual Juneteenth celebration

City of Bluefield hosts fourth annual Juneteenth celebration
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BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) – The city of Bluefield, West Virginia has hosted the annual Juneteenth Freedom and Heritage Celebration for four years. Organizers say that the celebration has grown every year.

A variety of food, entertainment, and vendors were available for those in attendance while encouraging education within the community.

“A group of us got together and formulated this. It was much needed in the area. It’s an educational opportunity. It’s a fun opportunity for the community to come together,” said co-chair for the event, Dr. Deirdre Guyton.

Guyton says that around 30 vendors were at the event, adding that she’s already looking ahead to next year. She’s hoping they can double that number. One vendor in attendance says this isn’t the first time she’s set up at this celebration.

“My business is about culture awakened. So I want to get different people’s cultures awakened through my business and to actually just express what Juneteenth means to so many people around,” said owner of Culture Awakened, Leona Graves.

For others it was their first time being a vendor, like Reverend James Mitchell. Mitchell is the owner of Bluefield’s historic Hotel Thelma.

He says his participation is about celebrating Juneteenth, adding that fundraising as well as bringing awareness to his goal of restoring the historic former Greenbook location on Bluefield’s east end were also important.

“It’s history, Juneteenth is about black history. So we’re supporting that along with putting a little bit of Bluefield’s history out there,” said Mitchell.

This year’s celebration will also include the awarding of the Ken Hunt Juneteenth Heritage Scholarship. The scholarship is given in memory of Hunt, who is the founder of the first Juneteenth celebration in Bluefield.

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