Juneteenth is now a federal holiday, but Statesville’s Juneteenth celebration picked up right where it left off from previous year’s festivities.
“It means liberation, it’s a celebration too. We came out of a treacherous year with COVID, racial tensions, and everything, so we wanted to give everyone an opportunity to come back out and celebrate that Juneteenth is a holiday and send a message to everyone inside and outside of Statesville that we’re here, we can come together and have a good time,” Kedar Peeples said. Peeples, along with Preston Wasson, were the event’s organizers. “We would love for everyone to come out, no matter, color, sex, gender, or anything, everyone is welcome.”
For Peeples, he said it was a chance to celebrate the holiday and while remembering how far Black people have come in the United States, it was important to keep pressing forward.
The event had music, spoken word performances, dancing, games, and of course, delicious food as hundreds gathered at Kimbrough Park on Saturday to celebrate the new federal holiday.
Two scholarships were presented to Statesville High School students from the NAACP, thanks to a donation from Russell Maxwell. The recipients were Avantre Steele and Ahsia Bennett.
There was also a television raffled off and a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, but most of the attendees were simply enjoying socializing at the park with friends, family, and the community.
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