LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – After receiving the news that Juneteenth is officially a national holiday, the community in LaGrange celebrated in a grand way. The celebration was held in Calumet Park and was organized by the Calumet Park Neighborhood Association, People’s Agenda and the Artisan Community Development Corporation.
“For our community Juneteenth is a significant celebration. So to have it shortly after the pandemic and everything opening up is very important. Just to be able to be joyful and celebrate something that is significant in our culture,” said Lee Jones, Secretary Treasurer for Calumet Park Neighborhood Association.
Jones believes the city had not had a significant Juneteenth celebration in multiple years and wanted to make the celebration grand. She saw it as an opportunity to celebrate not only the emancipation of enslaved African- Americans but as a way to bring the community back together after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Peoples Agenda member and co-organizer of the Juneteenth celebration, Diana Cofield, hopes the celebration encouraged people to move forward and not look backwards.
“I hope we can bring the community together and that they understand what Juneteenth is about. We just have a good time in moving forward instead of backwards. That we can build relationships between all of us, not just one race but all,” said Cofield.
Cofield hopes all attendees learned more about the meaning of Juneteenth at the event. She wanted to share her culture while bringing the community together in a fun event.
The event featured speakers to speak to the public about the importance of Juneteenth as well as a DJ, vendors and food trucks.
Similar to Jones and Cofield, Mike Merideth, the Executive Director of Artisan Community Development Corporation, hopes the event brought people together and taught them the importance of Juneteenth. He also hopes it inspired positivity and allowed people to build and maintain relationships.
The Juneteenth celebration was open to the entire county. All the organizers hope to host the celebration again in the upcoming years.