Vicksburg celebrates Juneteenth

Published 7:58 pm Saturday, June 15, 2024

This year’s Juneteenth celebration took place Saturday at Halls Ferry Park in Vicksburg.

Though Juneteenth will not officially arrive until Wednesday, this year’s celebration kicked off at 10 a.m. with pre-holiday festivities, including live music, storytelling, poetry and vendors and ran through 7 p.m.

Juneteenth Heritage Festival Committee Co-Founder and President Bobbie Bingham Morrow said Saturday’s festival was a success, but couldn’t have been accomplished without the teamwork of multiple groups throughout Vicksburg and Warren County.

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“What I really love is that so many people and so many businesses, and the city and county government, work so hard to make Juneteenth a success,” she said. “It just warms my heart to see so many people working so hard on this. And now, we have entertainers calling us about coming to the festival each year instead of us having to go and look for them. So, that’s wonderful.”

This year’s theme was “It’s a Family Affair” and featured entertainment sponsored by the Vicksburg Juneteenth Heritage Festival Committee, the City of Vicksburg, Ameristar Casino and Hotel, Bally’s Casino, International Paper, Visit Vicksburg and Visit Mississippi.

Taking part in this year’s festival were: The Time To Move Band; DJ Calcutta (Calvin Russell); Director, Hasandrums LLC and Mississippi Humanities Council Jerry Jenkins III; Chair and Co-Chair, 2024 Vicksburg Juneteenth Heritage Festival Jeremy Johnson and Ola Jones Clark; June Hardwick, Esq.; Kristian Ahmad Chambliss; Evangelist Kimberly Fisher, Ph.D; Bobbie Bingham Morrow; Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr.; Columbus Hood; Artracia Brown Fletcher; The Blues Experience (Bud Carson and Jerry Stuckey); gospel performers Roderick Sturgis, Nathaniel Williams, The Christian Harmonizers, Jermaine Jackson and Myra Washington; Bridgeet Olugbala, and Chiquila Pearson; DJ Supreme (Marwin Laws); Deatra Robinson Cable; Epic Funk Brass Band; musician Dwayne Griffin; sound technician Kendall Thompson.

Vicksburg’s first Juneteenth Heritage Festival, chaired by Tillman Whitley, occurred on June 19, 1993, on Monroe Street. Six years later, on June 19, 1999, and spearheaded by Ezell Matthews McDonald, a local businesswoman who focused on African American culture, history and traditions, the second Juneteenth Celebration was held in Marcus Bottom. Since the 1999 festival, Juneteenth has been celebrated in Vicksburg at various churches and locations.