By Paige Nash
Planning for the first ever Claiborne Parish Juneteenth Freedom Celebration is underway.
Juneteen is celebrated on June 19 to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans in the United States. The holiday was first celebrated in Texas, where on that date in 1865, in the aftermath of the Civil War, enslaved people were declared free under the terms of the 1862 Emancipation Proclamation. However, Juneteenth just obtained legal observance in June of 2021 when President Joe Biden signed the bill making Juneteenth the eleventh American federal holiday. It is also the first to obtain legal observance as a federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was designated in 1983.
“This is the first time having a true celebration,” said Juneteenth Festival Chairwoman Tasha Hardaway. “We want to use it as a time to celebrate our community through music, food, dance and historical reflection. This a response to Juneteenth becoming a national holiday.”
Claiborne Parish and surrounding areas are invited to stop by the Mayfield Park and Homer City Hall on June 14 – 19 to join in on the celebration.
They will be having a talent show, Sneaker Ball, parade, food and beverages along with plenty of games and entertainment. They will also be hosting a Mr. Miss Juneteenth Pageant.
The categories for this year’s pageant are:
Mini Mr. and Miss Juneteenth (Ages 6-8)
Little Mr. and Miss Juneteenth (Ages 9-11)
Junior Mr. and Miss Juneteenth (Ages 12-13)
Mr. and Miss Juneteenth (Ages 17-18)
The pageant will be held on June 14 to kick off the week-long celebration at the Homer City Hall. The winners will be featured throughout the rest of the week at the parade and other events.
Applications can be picked up at all Claiborne Parish Schools, Homer City Hall and Memorial Funeral Home.
For more information on this event please reach out to the sponsor, The Town of Homer, at 318-927-3555 or 318-927-1313.