COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – June is right around the corner and in Columbus, it means Juneteenth is too.
The city is bringing it back this year after it didn’t happen last year.
This will be the 23rd year for Juneteenth at Sims Scott Park.
“It’s going to be bigger and better and we hope the community, everybody, will come out. Remember, it’s all free. We’ve got vendors that will be here. We have concerts that we will have, Gospel and Blues concerts, so we’re asking all of those persons in the community and surrounding areas to please come out for our Juneteenth this year,” said committee member Cindy Lawrence.
The festival started in Columbus back in 1996, and last year was been the only year it didn’t take over Sims Scott Park in the middle of June.
“Last year, we had some issues about funding and some other things that we thought it was necessary to just cancel it. We’ve worked through those issues and of course, we’re going to be dealing directly with the city of Columbus, rather than the C.V.B. ,” says committee member and Lowndes County District 5 Supervisor, Leroy Brooks.
The festival has always been a staple in the community, so you can imagine the disappointment as a result last June when it didn’t happen.
“It’s just an integral part of the cultural experience and I think it’s very important that from now on that we have it, even if someone else is hosting it, but I think it’s a very important cultural piece, so we’re excited about it.”
And this year, there’s even more excitement.
“The tornado did come through this area, directly through the Sims Scott area and I think this is going to be some type of encouragement to help people come back to see some sense of normalcy, that we’re on the rise back to where we were.”
“We hope that this will be the catalyst to kind of get people in the mood to say, ‘This park is ours.’ And of course, the city of Columbus plans to redevelop it, but I think this would be a good kick off point.”
Juneteenth will take place on June 14-15.