MAXTON — Maxton’s second annual Juneteenth celebration drew throngs of revelers ready to celebrate the national holiday on Saturday.

The event started with a parade on West Carolina Street that eventually wound its way onto Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The lineup featured the mayor, girl scouts, dancers, churches, and women on motor trikes.

It was a much smaller parade than last year’s and an employee of Maxton Parks and Recreation said, “I think the heat kept some people from joining the parade this year. This is the hottest day we’ve had so far.”

Following the parade, there was a festival held at the Beachum Park. More than 20 vendors were set up throughout the park selling goods and food while a DJ played tunes from a variety of musical genres and eras.

Merchandise included NFL pillows, sports jerseys, jewelry, tote bags, African attire, hats and more.

Food options were varied with sellers offering southern delicacies like oxtail plates and pig feet, pork skins and collard sandwiches. There were also offerings like fried fish, hot dogs, hamburgers, cake slices, and ice cream.

Children flocked to the four inflatables set up on the edge of the festivities. The heat ensured the gigantic water slide and enormous wading pool were the most popular blow-ups as kids squealed and splashed and cooled off.

Maxton Parks and Recreation had a tent set up to honor 2024 high school graduates. Graduates could stop by the tent and get a goody bag of snacks and a Wendy’s gift card. They also had other freebies like water, lotion, sunscreen, and free school supplies for all community members.