FLORENCE, Ky. — Kicking off the festivities of Florence’s Juneteenth celebration next week, nonprofit, For Family By Family and the city are introducing a new tradition, the crowning of Junior Mr. and Miss Juneteenth.

What You Need To Know

  • The city of Florence and For Family by Family introduce a new Juneteenth tradition—the crowning of Junior Mr. and Miss Juneteenth
  • Leigh-Nichole Crabbe and Dante Hall were this years winners
  • Juneteenth is a federal holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the United States 

Community leaders, 13-year-old Leigh-Nichole Crabbe and 14-year-old Dante Hall are making history as t the first Junior Mr. and Miss Juneteenth for the city of Florence.

Crabbe said, “It feels very inspiring to be crowned Miss Juneteenth. And I’m very excited to go out into my community and like, show like other children what it’s like to help out your community and hopefully inspire others to do the same.”

Juneteenth is a federal holiday celebrated each year on June 19 to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States.

Kentucky State Rep. Pamela Stevenson, R-Louisville, spoke at the crowing ceremony and talked of the importance of of acknowledging history and celebrating the next generation.

She said, ”Young people like this, that were willing to do anything they had to do to make sure that the whole family and the whole community thrived.”

Dashai Thompson is the CEO of the nonprofit, For Family By Family and the first Miss Juneteenth of Florence. She said it’s important to celebrate the journey of those enslaved people and celebrate the next generation of Black excellence.

She said, “Not only do they exemplify Black excellence, but they’re showing that our youth is truly innovating, they’re inspiring, and they’re carrying on the legacy of Juneteenth and what that represents, especially for our Black culture.”

Hall and Crabbe have given back through community service and in school. Hall added you don’t always need money to make a difference.

Hall said, “I can’t really help financially, but I can, like, help spread awareness and things. And with Mr. Juneteenth, I can like, broaden my audience.”