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Juneteenth participants enjoy food and music

WEST POINT — Saturday’s rain showers cut short some of the activities of Juneteenth 2019.

After several years of taking place on the grounds of Goodsell Methodist Church in Lanett, this year’s event was switched to the West Point River Park.

There was plenty of food throughout the day and live entertainment from the pavilion stage.

The Lee family of West Point’s Waterworks neighborhood had a good day of cooking the barbecue they’re well known for.

They sold out with 175 plates, each one having a quarter or half a chicken, cole slaw and baked beans.

Carl Harper had a good day with his grilled chicken wraps, Homer and Barbara Harris stayed busy selling rib plates and Sandra Bagley had plenty of fresh-squeezed lemonade for everyone.

Located in the curve of Highway 29 just past the CSX railroad tracks, the River Park is normally a great place for an event as long as the weather cooperates.

Unfortunately, that didn’t take place Saturday.

Juneteenth has been celebrated in the U.S. for more than 150 years now.

It began in Galveston, Texas in June 1865 when an announcement was made that slavery had been abolished in the state of Texas and throughout the former Confederacy.

Its name is a combination of “June” with “nineteenth,” the date of the original celebration.

Juneteenth is now recognized as a state holiday or a special day of observance in 45 states.

Over the years, Juneteenth celebrations have included rodeos, street fairs, cookouts, family reunions, park parties, historical reenactments and Miss Juneteenth contests.