Juneteenth festivities held over weekend

Published 8:51 am Wednesday, June 21, 2023

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Members of the Bainbridge community gathered at the boat basin on Saturday for the first day of this year’s Juneteenth Jubilee. While Juneteenth itself is limited to Monday, the Phoenix Affaire Group, responsible for this year’s events, had a whole weekend of festivities planned, beginning with Saturday’s “Freedom Enterprise Day”. This saw local African-American vendors and food trucks setting up shop at the boat basin, while kids had bounce houses available for play. For the adults, a Tina Turner tribute was performed at the neighboring performing arts building.

The festivities continued into Sunday, this time with a father-son brunch held at the Shriner’s facility on Thomasville Road. The festivities concluded with a ceremony held in Willis Park Monday morning. Minister Annie Jones lead the ceremony, with Lonnie Crump providing the prayer. Mayor Reynolds was scheduled to provide the greeting, nut was not in attendance, with city council member Sylvia Washington reading his remarks in his stead. Paul Fryer, local representative for Congressman Sanford Bishop, also spoke at the event. Pastor Lester J. Hayes spoke on the history of Juneteenth, while Walter Lang, dressed to resemble Abraham Lincoln, read the Emancipation Proclamation. Awards were also presented to prominent members of the community, including former city councilman Luther Conyers, councilwoman Washington, and a community humanitarian award was presented to the family of Rev. Adrian Bivins, who could not attend.

Additionally, there were speeches on topics such as gun violence, drugs and mental health, while bishop Kelvin Wells delivered the main speech.

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