Donaldsonville Juneteenth celebration held

Darian Graivshark
Local dignitaries and festival organizers (l to r) Allison B. Hudson, Mayor Leroy Sullivan, Sheriff Bobby Webre, Councilman Reginald Francis, Councilman Oliver Joseph, and Tamiko Garrison.

The annual Juneteenth Festival took place on Saturday, June 1 in Donaldsonville, Louisiana at the Frank Sotile Jr. Pavilion.

Juneteenth Festival began in 1996 with former Mayor B.J. Francis Sr. of Donaldsonville and his late wife, Janet. Subsequent to her death, the festival continued with the efforts of Kathe Hambrick, the River Road African American Museum, and people in the community until 2010.

In 2011, the tradition has been carried on locally by Tamiko Francis Garrison, Allison Hudson, Oliver Joseph, and Leroy Sullivan.

What is Juneteenth?

On June 19, 1865 in Galveston, Texas, slaves in this geographic area finally learned about their freedom.

June 19 is the day Union General Gordon Granger read General Order #3, which announces all slaves are free by proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln signed the proclamation in September of 1862, and it was issued on January 1 of 1863.

For two years, Galveston slaves were slaves no-more, but were unaware of the news because it took that long for it to travel with southwest Texas.

During the festival, music, food, and family friendly activities were available for all attendees between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Musicians included DJ Slaughta Man, DJ Child Support, DJ Thriller playing 80's music, Bucket List, Red Tape Music, and Michael Foster Project.

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