Crowds come out for Augusta’s downtown Juneteenth festival

Crowds come out for Augusta’s downtown Juneteenth festival

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – A few days after the Junenteeth parade, Augusta celebrated the holiday again with a nearly daylong festival Wednesday.

The official holiday is June 19, although the revelry started over the weekend across the CSRA with parades and other gatherings.

The big event in Augusta was Wednesday’s Juneteenth festival in the parking lot of the James Brown Arena.

Hosted by Band of Brothers, it began at 12:30 p.m. and will keep going until 9:00.

Band of Brothers host Augusta's Juneteenth Celebration at Augusta Common.

Vendors were selling food, clothing and crafts, with a designated kids’ area and lots of music.

“I basically make wreaths and I do other crafts I do cups, T-shirts and different kinds of crafts,” said Loeontyne Jackson with Blessed Creations by Tina.

You can find just about anything at the festival ranging from body care products, clothing, jewelry and fun activities for the kids. But most of all, you’ll find lots and lots of food.

“We have seafood gumbo. We also have oxtail with mac and cheese, cabbage, white rice, green beans. We also have Creole pasta and fried fish,” said Tenisha Weathersby and Angininque Weathersby with Delta Girls Soul Food.

So many options, you’re bound to find something you like such as pasta, meats and even desserts.

“We have a mac and cheese so come out and get some free samples,” said Weathersby.

In commemoration of Juneteenth, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People...

Other vendors such as Lustful Lemonade, Inc. were also offering a variety of drinks.

“We have different flavored lemonade. You got flirtatious blue, kiss my peach, that’s not my strawberry,” they said.

But it’s also important to remember why everyone is here.

Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 when enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, found out they had been freed — after the end of the Civil War, and two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

“Texas always celebrated it. Now the whole world is celebrating and we just brought in the whole emancipation, something for our people to realize America is working towards its greatness,” said Carlton Edwards Wilson III, who attended the festival.

And it’s important to remember where we came from.

“Juneteenth is something very important. It’s very important that you know who you are,” he said.

Since it was designated a federal holiday in 2021, Juneteenth has become more universally recognized beyond Black America. Many people get the day off work or school, and there are a plethora of street festivals, fairs, concerts and other events.

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