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April 24, 2024

First Juneteenth Celebration held in Taylorsville

Children play in the foam party area of the 2023 Juneteenth Celebration in Taylorsville, held June 17.

Alexander County’s first-ever Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 17, at Alexander County Courthouse Park in Taylorsville. Various musical groups entertained the crowd. The event was sponsored by by the Alexander County NAACP, Alexander County Government, Town of Taylorsville, beautician Amy Teague, attorneys Edward L. Hedrick, V, Robert E. Campbell, Harbinson & Brzykcy, and Benbow, Davidson, and Martin; Alexander Funeral Service, Liberty Storage Solutions, Adams Funeral Home, Ride with Pride Car Wash, Intentional Joy LLC, Mt. Carmel Baptist, Macedonia Baptist on NC 90 East, and Scotty’s Hometown Grill, said Helen Chestnut, festival co-organizer and President of the Alexander County NAACP Chapter.

The holiday celebrates the events of June 19, 1865, when, months after the Civil War had ended and more than 2 years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing enslaved people — Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to free 250,000 people still held in bondage. The arrival of Major General Gordon Granger and his troops signaled that the Federal Government would not relent until the last enslaved people in America were free.

HELPFUL VOLUNTEERS — Festivals are lacking without volunteers but the Juneteenth Celebration had a great group helping run the event smoothly. Shown above: seated – Beverly Millsaps and Tonja Fox; standing – James Mayes, Sr., Jean Mayes, Rev. Sterling Howard, Helen Chestnut, Rev. Macy Jones, and Priscilla Jenkins. Not pictured: other volunteers included Gina Kay Honosky, Ann Howard, Colleen Williams, Jonia Williams, Jessie Mayes, Sr., Fleeta Mayes, Janice Howard, Janisha Howard, Cindy Sellers, James Mayes, Jr., and Will Jenkins. (Team Hajer photos.)


GOSPEL SOUND — Attendees at the Juneteenth Celebration were treated to Howard Flowers (holding microphone) soloing with the Liberty Grove Baptist Church All-Male Choir on June 17, 2023.

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