Juneteenth Takes its Official Spot on the Auburn Calendar

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PHOTOS BY ROBERT NOLES / OPELIKA OBSERVER

By Kinley Beshers
For the Opelika Observer

The month of June is a host for many celebrations and holidays— D-Day, Father’s Day, World Environment Day and even a Hug Holiday. This month, the city of Auburn is respectfully and specifically acknowledging June 19, known as the holiday, Juneteenth.

Juneteenth is the day African Americans were emancipated from slavery in the United States in the year 1865.

On June 19, 2021, Auburn Ward 1 Council Member Connie Fitch-Taylor, the Northwest Auburn Taskforce and others from the community are hosting a Juneteenth celebration at Sam Harris Park in Auburn at 10 a.m.

This will be the first Juneteenth celebration in Auburn, with hopes to be continued annually.

This event will be open to the public until 10 p.m., featuring guest speaker Dr. Terrence Vickerstaff, music, games (for adults and children) and more fun activities and fellowship.

Fitch-Taylor said the Juneteenth celebration will welcome the heroes featured in her event, “Unsung Heroes,” hosted for Ward I in Auburn.

These Unsung Heroes are people of the Black community in Auburn who were recognized on May 22 for their outstanding achievements, heroic actions or noteworthy improvement efforts in the Auburn  community, Fitch-Taylor said.

Attendees are asked to bring lawn chairs, pop-up tents, blankets or anything else to make themselves comfortable for the day-long affair.

The event is free and does not require pre-purchased tickets.

Fitch-Taylor said the event will have yummy soul food, free for purchase for all attendees.

Juneteenth is a day for all people to gather and celebrate this result from the Civil War — a step taken in 1865 to substantially advance the country.

The Juneteenth celebration will allow people of many different races, ethnicities and backgrounds to be able to celebrate together.

The community will gather in Sam Harris Park to celebrate the sacrifices of enslaved people, but also the successes, improvements, community, fellowship and equality.

“Maybe, one day, Alabama will officially declare Juneteenth as a state holiday,” Fitch-Taylor said. “Until that day, we will continue to celebrate Juneteenth in Auburn.”

Publisher’s Note:
Next week we will share information about Opelika’s Juneteenth Celebration which will take place on Friday, June 18.

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