Juneteenth celebration continues Sunday in Biloxi - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Juneteenth celebration continues Sunday in Biloxi

Some young people enjoy the Juneteenth celebration at John Henry Beck Park in Biloxi. Some young people enjoy the Juneteenth celebration at John Henry Beck Park in Biloxi.

For the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth, the celebration came in many forms.

The East Biloxi Community Collaborative put on the event Saturday, which also was designed to strengthen community bonds.

Over the day, nearly 500 people came into John Henry Beck Park in Biloxi to celebrate the historic observation.

June 19, 1865, was the day word reached the enslaved in Galveston, Texas, that their emancipation had been made formal.

For Thomas Parker, it was a good chance to share time with those who mean the most: his three children.

“It's a good family fun function where everybody can get out and have fun,” he said. “The kids can enjoy themselves on a good day like this. I work a lot so this is a good way. I'm off today, so I get to spend with my kids and have fun.”

James Mosely is down from Vicksburg for a family reunion.

“We're really enjoying ourselves down here,” he said. “They've got vendors down here. Got the kids playing. They're giving away books and stuff for the kids. And really having a good time down here.”

The day was packed full of multi-cultural activities including a “Hello World” exercise in which common phrases were translated from English to Vietnamese and Spanish.

There was story-telling time as well as children's activities and plenty of food offerings from the grill, from the fryer and to the plate.

For those who still had some energy to burn, an African dance troupe, demonstrated traditional dance and then invited some of the younger ones up for a try.

Organizers say this event is especially important in light of the Charleston tragedy.

“It just brings everybody to a place of coming together in love and just thinking you have to have conversations about things,” said Carmelita Scott with EBCC. “Racism isn't dead. We're going to have to talk about it. Things don't go away because you don't talk about it.”

The event continues Sunday at Henry Beck Park from 1 to 6 p.m., highlighted by a gospel extravaganza at 2 p.m.

For more details, call 228-297-4849.

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly