“That is my family on the wall behind me,” Loretta Holloway, South Carolina’s official First Lady of Song, exclaimed as she beamed with pride in the hot Juneteenth sun at Unity Park in Greenville Wednesday.

The wall behind her featured a mural dedicated to her ancestors, Elias Brown and Hattie Jordan Holloway.

Community members kick-off the Juneteenth at Unity Park celebration with a walking parade from Falls Park to Unity on Wednesday, June 19, 2024.

“It is quite amazing. It’s quite a historical time. It’s quite a very touching and moving time that they made so many contributions and now to be recognized and immortalized like this,” Holloway said. “We have a very long history of Holloways, so it’s good to see us here in Unity Park and what it means to bring everybody together.”

The third annual Juneteenth at Unity Park was held by TD SYNNEX’s BRG, Beacon, in partnership with the Urban League of the Upstate, The Greenville County Section of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) on Wednesday.

Audience members clap as Glenis Redmond, City of Greenville Poet Laureate, recites poetry at the Prisma Health Welcome Center at Unity Park during the third annual Juneteenth at Unity Park celebration on Wednesday, June 19, 2024.

Following the walking parade from Falls Park on the Reedy to Unity Park, the Prisma Health Welcome Center was filled with community members eager to listen and learn.

The program featured a theatrical performance by Jackson Haywood of Clover, now a theater student at Carnegie Mellon University, a poetry reading by Glenis Redmond, City of Greenville Poet Laureate, a musical performance by Holloway, and more.

Community members kick-off the Juneteenth at Unity Park celebration with a walking parade from Falls Park to Unity on Wednesday, June 19, 2024.