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CELEBRATE FREEDOM: Troy celebrates Juneteenth holiday

Troy’s second Juneteenth celebration was bigger and better than ever according to organizer Jamie McClain, director of S.A.F.F.E. Troy.

“It was absolutely heartening,” McClain said. “There were a lot more people at the celebration this year, and it didn’t rain like it did last year, so we’re thankful for that. We had many new vendors and people come out and be involved including representatives from the Troy City Council and Pike County Commission in the parade.”

The celebration featured a parade in the streets of Downtown Troy, followed by a celebration at the Pike County Fairgrounds. The celebration included vendors, inflatables, a car show, softball game and more.

McClain said Juneteenth is an important day to celebrate the progress that has been made in America since that June 19 day in 1865 that the last slaves were informed of their freedom.

“It’s important because it reminds us of our history, and not just African-American history,” McClain said. “It’s an American holiday because it’s American history. When we remember our past, we don’t repeat it. I see it as progress and hope. People don’t always understand how slavery has affected us through the generations. But we celebrate freedom, and after that we became full citizens and then we were able to vote. It set progress in motion.”

The event was made possible thanks in part to sponsors Troy Bank and Trust and the Pike County NAACP.