Huntington’s ‘Juneteenth’ celebration makes a big comeback

West Virginia

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – Saturday marked a big day in history. Across the nation, “Juneteenth” is now recognized as a federal holiday.

In Huntington, West Virginia, the rain stayed away long enough for the annual Juneteenth celebration to continue this year. Now with fewer COVID-19 restrictions, the event brought in quite the crowd.

Outside of the A.D. Lewis Center, people from all walks of life came out in recognition of the holiday. Marijayne Crawford headed up the event and she says the turnout was “amazing.”

To see my dream actually come to life, It’s just amazing.

Marijayne Crawford, Queen’s Dream Event Services owner

Crawford also said the event was about more than just bringing the community together, it was also about celebrating a huge historical event. On June 19th, 1865 came the end of slavery throughout the United States.

For many in attendance, remembering this day is a way to honor those who are no longer with us.

“For us to be where we are today because of what they went through, that’s what we’re celebrating. If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be here today,” said Crawford.

The event features music, food, games, and several local organizations – something for everyone to enjoy. With the current climate in the world, today including movements against racism like “Black Lives Matter”, community members like David Wells believe events like this help unite communities.

“This is just a small piece of bringing the community together. We’ve still got a lot of work to do, we still got a lot of dialogue to do. I’m a believer that at the end of the day, this is going to work,” said David Wells, Huntington-Cabell NAACP President.

The organizers at the event also said they hope making this a federal holiday will bring more attention to the history behind it.

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