Juneteenth celebration kicks off in Beaufort County

WASHINGTON, N.C. (WITN) – With the theme of ‘Unity in the community,’ day one of this year’s Juneteenth celebration in Washington was a success.

The town came alive as residents gathered in Beebe Memorial Park on Saturday to commemorate the federal holiday.

Juneteenth is celebrated annually on June 19th to recognize when the last enslaved people in the united states learned they were free.

Volunteer joyce moore says the goal is to bring people of all races together.

“This is for everybody in the community, black, white, Mexican, whatever you are, just be celebrated, always celebrate where you came from and how you began and that’s the purpose of Juneteenth to let everybody know there is unity in Beaufort County, not just Washington but Beaufort County,” says Moore.

Officials say although President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves in 1863, it could not be enforced in many places in the south until the civil war ended in 1865.

And the fun is not over, day two of the Juneteenth celebration continues tomorrow from 4 pm to 7 pm.