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Juneteenth celebrations continue in Springfield with block party

Juneteenth celebrations continue in Springfield with block party
Published: Jun. 18, 2022 at 11:50 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -This weekend, celebrations are happening across the nation for Juneteenth, a federal holiday that commemorates the emancipation of African Americans in the United States. Here in Springfield, a block party was held at Court Square for the community.

Community members gathered for an afternoon of fun and to highlight the importance of Juneteenth.

The event was filled with art, entertainment, and food from Black-owned businesses and Black artists. Folks lined up to try different dishes provided by Black-owned businesses for Taste of Dine Black, with treats including mac and cheese and collard greens. One restauranteur we spoke with said it is a great way to showcase local talents to the community.

“Hoping everyone gets some good food all these very nice, beautiful restaurants...As a whole, I hope everyone will be able to come out and see all the vendors and realize all the different things we have to offer,” said Melvin Lockett, co-owner of Khi and Eli’s in Springfield.

Springfield city councilor Tracye Whitfield said seeing the community come together today makes the time and effort that went into the event all worth it.

“It’s so important to celebrate everybody, right and celebrate the end of slavery, not officially but over the two-and-a-half years that we didn’t know and it celebrates the end of that and so it’s very important. It starts conversation and dialogue and it starts just talking about our history the whole history of America so it’s that important,” said Whitfield.

Western Mass News caught up with one organizer who added that events like this are important for cities as diverse as Springfield. And uniting as a city is beneficial for everyone.

“The message of Juneteenth, of sharing information and knowledge and resources it’s so important and that it’s gonna take us to the next level we can probably understand we are coming out of a pandemic, we’ve been hit hard mentally emotionally and financially socially broken and as we try to figure out how to get to the next level, stages of life gonna be a central part of that through this together and the more we did in unity the more powerful we become,” explained Tiffany Allecia, founder and president of Black and brown Wall Street.

The Juneteenth celebrations continue Sunday with events including:

Juneteenth Jubilee Father’s Day Brunch - from 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. at Court Square.

Juneteenth Jubilee Interfaith Worship Service - from 12:30 - 2:30 pm at Court Square.

Black Vivid - from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Riverfront Park.