Celebrating freedom

Filed under DAYTONA BEACH

Annual Juneteenth Festival attracts thousands to Cypress Street Park

Performances at this year’s Juneteenth celebration included traditional African dance, a drumline and band, and various singing groups.

Thousands turned on Saturday for the 12th Annual Juneteenth Celebration sponsored by the city of Daytona Beach.

The scent of barbecue ribs filled the air. Children ran around unattended – having a good time riding live animals, climbing rock walls, bouncing on inflatables and on a bungee ride.

Admission was free to the festival at Cypress Street Park. Attendees also took time to swim in the city’s pool and tour the new Midtown Cultural and Development Center. Also mixed in the crowd were candidates hoping to be elected in the upcoming Aug. 14 primary. Many groups also took the time to register people to vote.

On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced the end of the Civil War. This was two and a half years after slaves had been freed by the Emancipation Proclamation, which was signed by President Abraham Lincoln on Sept. 22, 1862.

Daytona Beach is one of many communities across the country that celebrates Juneteenth, which marks the time Texas slaves learned they were free.

In Palm Coast a Juneteenth celebration “Remembrance, Reflection and Recitation” will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 30 at the African American Cultural Center, 4422 N. U.S. 1. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, call the African American Cultural Society at 386-447-7030.

The event will include arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, entertainment, face painting and a program from noon to 4 p.m.

1. Sitting atop saddles draped with red, white and blue, these youngsters took advantage of free pony and horse rides, under the watchful eye of their caretakers. 2. An on-site petting zoo caught the attention of these little ones. 3. Leisure Services Director Percy Williamson enjoys Juneteeth with wife Carmen. 4. Candidate for Daytona Beach Mayor, Edith Shelly (second from left) was among three candidates speaking with potential voters during the event. 5. Spider mountain was a big hit for those willing to tackle it.

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