17th Annual Juneteenth Celebration

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FAYETTE— St. Paul United Methodist Church continued its 17th Annual Juneteenth celebration Saturday. This year’s theme was “My Soul has been Anchored.” 

Juneteenth is a modern day celebration of the emancipation from slavery.

The celebration began on Friday night with a gospel fest event. Local and surrounding talent contributed with song and dance.

On Saturday, the celebration continued with a 5K sponsored by Howard County Health and Wellness Council, Fayette Roadrunners, and Innovatia. A breakfast and parade were then held later in the day.

The parade featured the Mid-Missouri Highsteppers, the Buffalo Soldiers of Kansas City, Grand Marshals, Mr. and Mrs. Juneteenth, the Howard County Queen, Teen, Prince/Princess, Lincoln Public School committee, and other local organizations.

This year’s Grand Marshals were Bernard Ashcraft, Jamie Paige and Sarah Paige.

The event also included a car show, auction, a bounce house, local vendors and a tour of the old Howard County Jail.

Fayette native Rodney Gaines sponsored the main concession.

Event Coordinator Timothy Jackman said that Juneteenth marks an important part in history.

“Even though it was the Emancipation Proclamation that was signed in 1863,” Jackman said. “It took two and a half years after that before all slaves in this United States were free, so it’s an important day to recognize and remember the struggles that African Americans went through.”

The Juneteenth Celebration concluded with a live performance from the Norm Reubling Band.

Committee member Regina Powell said she looks forward to Juneteenth weekend every year.

“Every year it gets bigger and more productive in a way of people understanding that this is how we celebrate our freedom during this time,” Powell said. “I just am grateful that everything turns out excellent for our church.”

The Juneteenth Celebration will return to Fayette in June 2018.

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