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Annual Juneteenth Heritage Festival announced



Juneteenth celebration 2021. (Photo by David Day)
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The Vicksburg Juneteenth Heritage Festival Committee will host the annual Juneteenth Heritage Festival on Saturday, June 18 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Halls Ferry Park. This year’s theme is celebrating freedom.

Vicksburg’s first Juneteenth Heritage Festival occurred on June 19, 1993, on Monroe Street. Six years later, on June 19, 1999, spearheaded by Mrs. Ezell Matthews McDonald, a local businesswoman who focused on African American culture, history and traditions, the second Juneteenth Celebration was held in Marcus Bottom. Since the 1999 festival, Juneteenth has been celebrated in Vicksburg at various churches and locations.

On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law, commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Juneteenth came about as the Civil War came to a close in 1865. A number of people remained enslaved, especially in remote areas. Word of slavery’s end traveled slowly, and for those who were largely isolated from Union armies, life continued as if freedom did not exist. This was especially the case in Texas, where thousands of slaves were not made aware of freedom until June 19, 1865, when Union Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and issued an order officially freeing them. Their celebration would serve as the basis of June 19 — or Juneteenth — a holiday celebrating emancipation in the United States.

The committee is planning an enlightening festival for the entire family. Young and old will learn the history of Juneteenth and its importance. Some of Vicksburg’s gifted live entertainment will perform. Numerous vendors will be on hand to sell their arts, crafts and a variety of foods. Admission to this event is free.

Points of contact are the Chair, Ms. Bobbie Bingham Morrow, 601-630-5847, and Co-Chair, Mrs. Traniece King, 601-415-2921. Email is


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