COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Village of Columbia, which hosts a Juneteenth festival every year, said celebrations are going off without a hitch this weekend.
The Village is an organization that works to bring together the Black community in Columbia with events like Monday's all year long.
Columbia celebrated Juneteenth for all of the extended weekend with several outdoor events, including on Monday afternoon at Cosmo Park. Organizers said heat and security were not a concern, as they work with the city to ensure safety.
Juneteenth honors the end to slavery in the United States and marks the day troops marched into Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, to ensure all enslaved people were freed. In 1979, Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth an official holiday. Fast forward to 2021, Juneteenth became a national holiday.
The Columbia Fire Department was at Cosmo Park Monday afternoon for the celebration. The ABC 17 Stormtrack Weather Team is tracking high temperatures all week, which could be felt at the park.
Raymond Gray with The Village said Columbia Fire treated at least one person for a combination of heat exhaustion and drinking.
Eno Crusby with Seamoss Lifestyle was a vendor at Monday's festival. He said the holiday symbolizes the joy of freedom and community.
"I wish they keep ringing out great events like this to bring us together and bring everyone as a closer together," Crusby said. "Regardless, you know, it's nice diverse crowd and it's about unity"
There will be more events Wednesday in Columbia:
- Columbia Parks and Recreation's Family Fun Fest: Juneteenth Jamboree at Cosmo Park from 6-8 p.m.
- Juneteenth PBS Short Film Screening, "Juneteenth Sesquicentennial," at the Armory from 6-6:30 p.m.