Organizers promise to make Juneteenth an annual event

Published 11:36 am Monday, July 1, 2024

By Mike Barnhardt

Enterprise Record

Davie residents celebrated Juneteenth Saturday afternoon with freedom.

They had the freedom to gather with a purpose: “Uniting for a Better Tomorrow.”

They had the freedom to praise God in song.

They had the freedom to eat, play and have fun.

They also had the freedom to recognize their past struggles, and to energize themselves to ensure that equality and freedoms ring on for future generations.

They also plan to make it an annual event.

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, marks the day the of the liberation of slavery after the Civil War, on June 19, 1865. Davie’s celebration at the Masonic Picnic Grounds, sponsored by the Heritage Alliance Project, included a day full of activities, including gospel music, vendors, games and plenty of food.

Bishop James Ijames, long-time Mocksville pastor, said: Thank you God for this event we’re having today. We thank you for the joy, peace and happiness we have here in Mocksville.”

That joy was evident as kids hopped on a mini-train for a ride, took a cooling run through a misting station, had designs painted on their faces and delighted at balloon animals.

That joy was evident as the hands began clapping and feet tapping as gospel music was provided by Selena Barker, New Life Apostolic Church, Tabernacle Church of Christ and Antwionnette Neely.

That joy was evident as Mocksville Town Board member, Jenny Stephenson, sang the National Anthem and Ariel Barker sang “Life Every Voice and Sing.”

“I’m so happy the Heritage Alliance Project can put this on,” said Brian Barnett, Davie County manager for the past 23 months. “I hope that next year we’ll be back.”

He encouraged those in attendance to be more involved in local activities, including volunteering for one of the many boards appointed by the count, and to visit him in his office.

“Get involved in Davie County leadership,” he said. “We have several boards and committees and we are looking to diversify.”

Mocksville Mayor Will Marklin also hopes the event will happen every year, and said he is proud for the town to be a partner.

Heritage Alliance Project (HAP) President Sharon Anderson welcomed everyone, and put out special thanks to the sponsors and dozens of volunteers. It was a success, she said.

HAP was formed to protect and enhance the community including East Depot, Mill, Pine, Neely, Railroad, Williams, Walnut, Foster and Ken Dwiggins streets in Mocksville.

“Our purpose is to honor the past, address the present, and embrace the future. HAP welcomes collaborations with individuals or organizations having similar interests in our service area.”