ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Many South Georgians came together Saturday to celebrate the official day that African-Americans were freed after the emancipation proclamation was passed, better known as Juneteenth.
“The importance of this celebration, and I am going to make it really brief and simple,” Patrick Ellis, Men United Inc. vice president, said. “This is America’s true freedom day.”
Communities, families, friends and many others came together to celebrate the historical day of Juneteenth on Saturday.
Many vendors and organizations, like the Albany Fire Department, Albany Technical College and others, came to the event to showcase the importance for the holiday.
“This is our second Juneteenth event here in Albany, Georgia,” Ellis said. “What it pretty much is our group is trying to celebrate and bring others groups into a unity of this celebration. That is basically what we are trying to do for them.”
Community leaders, like Ellis, planned the event to be a beacon for many millennials who may have lost their way or don’t have an understanding for the day.
Ellis said to pull off an event like this, it takes a lot of time.
“We hit the ground trying to touch bases with every organization,” Ellis said. “Anyone that reached out to us after we put out flyers, we were also on TV, on the radio. We just reached out to the community to try to get everyone involved.”
With the great turn out from the community, city leaders are already looking forward to the outcome for next year.
Ellis said the event is always looking for more help and sponsorship.
“So basically, we will hit the ground running in January, so we can reach more people, more companies, more businesses, more locals, more pastors, churches; all organizations to get them a part of this event,” Ellis said. “Because it is not about us holding this event, this is about Albany.”