Thousands gather in Daytona to celebrate Juneteenth

Filed under DAYTONA BEACH

Events included recognition of Hometown Heroes, festival at park

FROM STAFF REPORTS

These youngsters prepare to entertain attendees at Daytona Beach’s Juneteenth festival at Cypress Street Park. There were inflatable rides and other activities for those who were at the free event.DUANE FERNANDEZ/SPECIAL TO THE DAYTONA TIMES)

These youngsters prepare to entertain attendees at Daytona Beach’s Juneteenth festival at Cypress Street Park. There were inflatable rides and other activities for those who were at the free event.
DUANE FERNANDEZ/SPECIAL TO THE DAYTONA TIMES)

More than 500 residents dined on baked chicken, rice, string beans, sweet potatoes, macaroni salad and chocolate frosting cake at the kickoff of Daytona Beach’s Juneteenth Celebration banquet at Daytona Beach’s Midtown Cultural and Educational Center on June 13 where 20 Hometown Heroes were recognized.

Thousands also turned out for a festival last Saturday at Cypress Street Park where dozens of vendors provided information about their organizations and others sold all kinds of food to the masses.

The Hometown Heroes recognized at the banquet included Lillie Bell Beckton, Duane Fernandez, Charlie Lydecker, Launa Taylor, Dr. Alma Dixon, Korynne Lamitriz Burgess-Turner, Charles Bethune, Suzanne Grubbs, Isabel Berber, Maureen Taylor, Ronnie Williams, Chris Daun, Perman Shepard, Joanne Foster, Ivette Delgado, Tim Huth, Rafael Ramirez, Dixie Morgese, Christine Davis and Cheryl Coxwell.

Many vendors were on hand to sell their wares, food and other products to make money for their charities or organizations.(DUANE  FERNANDEZ/SPECIAL TO THE DAYTONA TIMES)

Many vendors were on hand to sell their wares, food and other products to make money for their charities or organizations.
(DUANE
FERNANDEZ/SPECIAL TO THE DAYTONA TIMES)

Prayers, proclamations
Judge Hubert L. Grimes and Donna Tucker, assistant principal at Creekside Middle School, presided over the event.

The program kicked off with Katherine Moore singing the national anthem.

Representatives from several faiths offered up a prayer, including Kamal Frikach, Islamic Center of Daytona Beach; Rabbi S. David Kane, Congregation B’Nai Torah; Father Philip Egitto, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church; Royce Adkins, president of the American Indian Association of Florida, Inc.; and Pastor John Thomas Long III, Tubman-King Community Church of Daytona Beach.

The audience was serenaded by Liz Owens.

Hometown Hero Lillie Bell Beckton (front right) was one of 20 residents recognized for the contributions to the community. She sits at a table with her family and friends at the banquet held at the Midtown Cultural and Educational Center.(Photos by James Harper/Daytona Times)

Hometown Hero Lillie Bell Beckton (front right) was one of 20 residents recognized for the contributions to the community. She sits at a table with her family and friends at the banquet held at the Midtown Cultural and Educational Center.
(Photos by James Harper/Daytona Times)

Proclamations were presented by Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry and Volusia County Councilwoman Joyce Cusack.

Remarks and recognitions
As the patrons dined, entertainment was provided by the Hispanic American Youth Group of Deltona, Markilo Allen and Ima Jackson.

The moment all had been waiting for was the introduction of the Hometown Heroes with help from Mayor Henry and Daytona Commissioners Carl Lentz, Paula Reed and Patrick Henry.

A $1,000 scholarship was presented to Brandon Thompson.

Closing remarks and other recognitions were given by Percy L. Williamson, Daytona Beach’s Leisure Services director, and Linda McGee, Juneteenth Committee chair, and an employee in Leisure Services.

Also recognized during the banquet were members of the Juneteenth Celebration Committee, including co-chairpersons Julio Holness and Charles Bryant.

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