North Charleston, South Carolina – Several Juneteenth celebrations, events and festivals took place on Friday and during the weekend in the lowcountry.
One of them is the first Juneteenth Freedom Festival.
“We are super excited that we were able to bring an idea into fruition. Something that took 3 years to plan by the organizer, Octavia Edwards,” said Candice Cohen, the marketing manager of the event.
According to the hosts, the festival was event for everyone including families and children. The event featured dancing, food, vendors and live music.
“To see everybody here (at the festival) together smiling, enjoying each other, getting to try all the different businesses and vendors, and experience great talent,” said Christian Keith, a vendor at the festival.
People are happy to see Juneteenth event in Charleston for first time and excited to attend.
“I’m a newbie here in Charleston. I came in 2019. And I will say there was no Juneteenth in 2019 Charleston. But, because people are about social change, and bringing peace. Now there are so many Juneteenth’s today all over Charleston County,” said Makeda Naeem.
Some went even further and said Juneteenth celebrations should have taken place many years ago.
“I think it’s past due. And I thank him (President Biden) for doing that. (making Juneteenth a federal holiday). That represents our freedom. When we were freed, and we need to celebrate it more than just 1 day,” said Octavious Dowling, a vendor at the festival.
“It just lets me know that we are hopefully moving in the right direction. I fell like it’s a long time coming. It should have been recognized. But it’s a step in the right direction,” said Shanae Wright.
From this year, Biden administration made Juneteenth a federal holiday and people think this will bring change in our everyday lives.
“Hopefully it makes a change for the better. You can call it a day. You can call it whatever you want to call it, but what’s the change behind it?” said Monique Jackson.
“As a mom of 3 children it actually excites me. Now I know my children have Juneteenth to look forward to in their social studies classes. So when they starting opening their social studies books they get to learn about this day,” said Cohen.