Junefest 2016

More than 150 years ago Union soldiers embarked to Galveston to let Texas know that the slaves were free.
Today, hundreds took part in the Junefest celebration at Bones Hooks Park.

And although Juneteenth has been celebrated for decades in Amarillo, Junefest is only in its second year.

Their goal, unity.
Nakisha Wood, one of the event organizer says, “This is a big community that through out the years, I’m 37 so just imagine the generations that have came together during this time, around June, Juneteenth to celebrate our freedom. To celebrate unity. Celebrate love, and just celebrate each other.”
151 years ago tomorrow is when Texas found out the slaves were free.   

Most states had already abolished slavery by the time Texas was informed.
Melodie Graves, another event organizer says,”So, it was our day of emancipation in Texas. So what we do, is we come together and want the community to know about us. Not just the 79107 [zip code], but Amarillo as a whole.”

The parade is the main part of the festival, but there is plenty to do through out the day.
Trevon Wade, an Urban Project member who walked in parade says, “It’s not just one specific race, not specific region. Everyone can come and have a fun time. You got food, you got your games, you got your basketball, you got your different little booths and stuff.”
Junefest is also about bringing together a community that was once segregated not all that long ago.
Wood says, ” from the segregation here, even in Amarillo. Across the tracks, or the south side versus the north side. we don’t want that to be that way anymore. What we want is everyone to come out and enjoy each others company.”

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