‘I think we should try to embrace it.’ Nicholasville hosts first ever Juneteenth celebration

Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 10:43 PM EDT
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JESSAMINE CO, Ky. (WKYT) - Folks in Nicholasville celebrated Juneteenth at the Clinton Hayden Park Friday.

The event was the first of its kind in the county. The Nicholasville Police Department, Jessamine County Public Library, Gospel Word Missionary Church and Jessamine County Judge Executive’s office sponsored the evening.

Event organizer Anna Kenion said the news of Juneteenth becoming a federal holiday made her feel ecstatic.

“For me, it means that we can do this together and not just once race trying to keep that memory alive,” she said.

Beyond the games, the event had a deeper meaning.

“Juneteenth is freedom, It’s Freedom Day,” Kenion said.

Her idea for this started with books. Her church was going to host a summer reading program. She said she reached out to city officials for some supplies, and the idea blossomed.

Some people who came to the event said they’ve been celebrating Juneteenth all of their lives, while others said this was a first for them.

“It’s all about education because lot of us don’t really understand where this holiday came from,” said Sergeant Kevin Grimes, with Nicholasville PD. “I had not heard about it.”

Police officers served up hot dogs while kids learned about the holiday.

Actors from the Stage One Family Theater performed a story of a young girl learning about her ancestors who were enslaved.

“Our culture and heritage is so rich that we need to learn a piece every day and share it with our kids,” Kenion said.

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