COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) – Residents of Columbus celebrated an activity-filled weekend on June 19.
The June 19 inaugural Jubilee festivities continued Sunday with a festival of praise held outside the Columbus Civic Center. It featured several musical performances by artists from the local church.
Dozens of people come out to praise and worship, eat African-American themed food, and have some family fun. During the event, the office of Congressman Sanford Bishop presented the city’s Juneteenth Committee with special recognition from Congress for outstanding achievement, service, and public distinction.
“It highlights what we have done as a black community not only in the city and the state, but also in the country,” said Chris Kelly. “You start to shine a light on those who are generally on the margins of society. This gives the next generation the opportunity to be educated.
“It’s important that we celebrate and educate and then get active,” said Columbus District 4 Councilman Toiya Tucker. “What activating means is that we continue in this moment of celebration and education that we brought to our city. Just to see a lot of people who had no idea what Juneteenth was really about. So, we want to continue to educate. We will continue to educate.
“Today’s turnout was great,” said Rob Landers, director of the Columbus Civic Center. “It’s Sunday, it’s after church, so we wanted our community to come out and worship with us and worship with us here at the Civic Center.”
“We thought this was a great opportunity to give back to the community and build a relationship with the community,” said event volunteer Marco Youman. “And we love kids and want to make them smile with everything we do.”
On Monday morning, Columbus leaders are planning a six-mile bike ride, riding the Heritage Trail through Uptown and stopping at historic sites along the way.
On Saturday, people from all over Fountain City and the surrounding area flocked to the Columbus Civic Center for Jubilee Day.
Festivities included food trucks, an entertainment area, educational information and vendors from Black-owned businesses and a community resource fair with health and financial literacy information.
Councilor Tucker shared with News Leader 9 how excited the committee was to plan these events for the community and a bit of history regarding the town’s Juneteenth branding.
“This Juneteenth committee has worked for over a year to bring something so special. Freed slaves adopted this official flag, which was red, white, and blue because they wanted to be considered American. So we want to show that we have an American experience and we share our American cultural experience with the community.
Mayor Skip Henderson stopped by to play ball and show his support at the event.
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