Story and photos by Tyria McCray-Bourda
CHAPEL HILL — More than 1,300 festival goers commemorated the end of Slavery in the United States in Chapel Hill and Carrboro this weekend.
The joint Juneteenth festivities kicked off 10 a.m Saturday morning at Hargraves Community Center with a full day of good music, performances, kids activities, nonprofit vendors and food.
Black-owned businesses showcased their products throughout the grounds and the kids zone kept the young ones energized with face painting, games, mural making and hula hoop.
“We are so happy to be here and celebrate our freedom,” Chapel Hill native Patricia Anderson said. It feels great to be able to bring my boys out so they can not only learn about what our ancestors went through but see the fruition that has come from our people. We are truly having a great time, and to see the town come out is really beautiful.”
This festival comes after a bill signed by President Joe Biden in 2021 that declared Juneteenth the newest federal holiday.
Anderson also shared she was elated to relax at home on Monday being that she has the day off. Thanks to an executive order signed last year by Gov. Roy Cooper, government employees in North Carolina now receive June 19 as a paid holiday.
Eta Phi Zeta Chapter ladies had the opportunity to share with young women about the sorority’s history and the ongoing work within the community.
Another sorority sister joins in for a photo.
Volunteers served cool drinks, snacks, and candy which definitely kept the young ones cool.
Energized young boys enjoying the kids zone face painting and on the hunt for more snacks.
Young men and women showcasing their jump rope skills during the Bouncing Bulldogs performance. The entire park was watching and cheering them on as they did black flips, double-dutch, side-swing, high knees, criss-cross and boxer-step.
Bouncing BullDogs wave at standing only crowd applauding their performance.
Audience awaiting The Bouncing Bulldogs Performance. Excited parents and grandparents sat front row patiently waiting to see their young ones. Younger siblings also danced along to the performance.
All smiles in the shade for K Caprease (left) posing with a shopper. Caprease creates original abstract acrylic paintings.
Enjoying the festivities; OneOrange nonprofits representatives shared the importance of affordable housing, employment, and racial equity in Orange County.
UNC Chapel Hill students enjoying the celebration.
Dancer enjoying time with children. She was wearing red, black and green which coincides with the Juneteenth; it’s the Pan-African flag, which dates back to 1920.
Retired teachers enjoying the celebration as they watched their granddaughters jump rope on stage.