Columbus celebrates weekend full of inaugural Juneteenth activities

Published: Jun. 19, 2022 at 7:39 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - People in Columbus celebrated a weekend full of Juneteenth activities.

The inaugural Juneteenth Jubilee festivities continued Sunday with a praise fest taking place outside of the Columbus Civic Center. It featured several musical performances by local church entertainers.

Dozens of people coming out to praise and worship, eat African American-themed cuisine and enjoy family fun. During the event, Congressman Sanford Bishop’s office presented the city’s Juneteenth committee with a special congressional recognition for outstanding achievement, service and public distinction.

“This highlights what we have been doing as a Black community not only in the city and the state but in the nation as well,” said Chris Kelly. “You begin to spotlight those who are usually on the fringes of society. It gives the opportunity for the next generation to be educated.”

“It’s important that we celebrate and also educate then we activate,” said Columbus District 4 councilwoman Toiya Tucker. “What activate means is that we continue in this celebration and educational moment that we have brought to our city. Just seeing a lot of individuals who had no idea what Juneteenth really was. So, we want to continue to educate. We’re going to continue to educate.”

“Today’s turnout has been great,” said Rob Landers, Columbus Civic Center director. “It’s Sunday, it’s post-church, so we wanted our community to come out and praise with us and worship with us here at the Civic Center.”

“We figured that this is a great opportunity to give back to the community and build a relationship with the community,” said Marco Youman, event volunteer. “And we just love the kids and want to put a smile on their face with everything that we do.”

Monday morning, Columbus leaders are hosting a six-mile bike ride, travelling throughout the Heritage Trail in Uptown and stopping at historic landmarks along the way.

Saturday, people from all across the Fountain City and surrounding area came out to the Columbus Civic Center for Jubilee Day.

The festivities included food trucks, a fun zone, educational information and vendors from Black-owned businesses and a community resource fair with information on health and financial literacy.

Councilwoman Tucker shared with News Leader 9 how excited the committee was to plan these events for the community and a little history regarding the city’s Juneteenth branding.

“This Juneteenth committee has worked over a year to bring something so special. The freed slaves adopted this official flag, which was red, white and blue because they wanted to be considered American. So, we want to show that we have an American experience and we’re sharing our cultural American experience with the community.”

Mayor Skip Henderson made a stop to play some ball and show his support at the event.

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