Juneteenth events will be held in several areas of Jasper County June 15 for all to enjoy.

Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. President Joe Biden signed legislation in 2021 making June 19 a federal holiday.

The first local event, celebrating its fifth year, will be held June 15 from Noon until 5p.m. at 128 Mango Drive in the Mitchellville community of Jasper County. The event was organized by Courteney Simmons.

“Juneteenth is a time to remember what African Americans have endured and what they can achieve,” Simmons said. “Mrs. Margie Kidd, a former teacher at Ridgeland Elementary School, taught me the importance of Juneteenth years ago, and ever since that time, I’ve been celebrating it!”

The fifth annual Juneteenth celebration will be held June 15 from Noon until 5p.m. in Mitchellville on 128 Mango Drive. Everyone is invited to attend.

Simmons said she and Kidd had planned on putting an event together, turning it into an annual event, however Kidd passed away Sept. 28, 2021, from COVID-19 complications. She had taught first grade and kindergarten for more than two decades in Jasper County. Simmons worked with Kidd for 14 years at Ridgeland Elementary School.

Simmons unveiled a portrait in 2021 she painted in Kidd’s memory that was presented to her family.

“I decided to continue on with her wishes and host a Juneteenth event each year in Mitchellville in Jasper County,” Simmons said. “The event is open to everyone. We appreciate everyone’s support.”

The event will include various vendors, food and music.

Second Juneteenth event to be held in Tillman

Another Juneteenth event will also take place June 15 and will be held from noon until 6 p.m. at 370 Pinehaven Drive in Tillman.

The first annual Juneteenth celebration will take place June 15 from Noon until 6p.m. in Tillman on 370 Pinehaven Drive. This is the second of two events which will take place in Jasper County to celebrate the June 19 holiday.

“This event is our first and we hope to make it a yearly event for all to come out and enjoy,” organizer Kerensa Bostick said.

Bostick said the original idea for the event was from her mother, Margaret Bostick, current Jasper County Clerk of Court.

“With all of her courthouse duties, my mom enlisted myself and I drafted my daughter, A’Kiera Mervin to help out,” Kerensa said.

Bostick said the Juneteenth activities will include a bouncy house as well as other events for the kids, a variety of music, merchandise vendors and food trucks.

“The reason I’ve worked so hard on this event is for my grandchildren,” Bostick said. “I don’t want people to think that this celebration is for one race, it’s for all to come together and enjoy each other. That’s the world I want my grandchildren, nieces and nephews to be a part of and be proud of. We are doing this on behalf of the Bostick family for all.”