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11th annual Juneteenth celebration at Clemente Park

Posted at 1:07 PM, Jun 17, 2023

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Several local organizations worked together to host the 11th annual Juneteenth Community Celebration in Roberto Clemente Park Saturday.

The Lee County Black History Society, Dunbar Festival Committee and the African Coalition of Southwest Florida hosted the free event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The family-friendly celebration included a variety of live entertainment, music, art, crafts, food and refreshments.

As part of the event, Lee County students were given CARSS (Celebrating & Recognizing Students’ Success) Awards for their academic and community service achievements.

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Attendees also had the chance to talk with local businesses and learn about wealth, health, education, job training, employment, housing, corporate and governmental services and more.

Although Juneteenth was only recognized as a federal holiday in 2021, it has been celebrated since the 1800s. The holiday is observed on or around June 19, the day that slaves in Galveston, Texas, learned they had been freed, more than two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

In addition to Saturday's celebration, a special exhibit for Juneteenth and Florida's Emancipation Day will be on display at the Williams Academy Black History Museum at Clemente Park through the end of June.