'Best Thing In The World': Vermont Celebrates Juneteenth
People across Vermont celebrated the now-federal holiday Juneteenth on Saturday.
At City Hall Park in Burlington, hundreds turned out for the city’s first-ever Juneteenth celebration.
Burlington’s Office of Racial Equity, Inclusion and Belonging hosted the day-long event, which celebrated African American culture with musical performances, art installations, food vendors, and more.
Juneteenth is the commemoration and celebration of the ending of slavery in the United States. And while this was the first official Juneteenth in Burlington, it is a widely celebrated event in other parts of the country.
Skyler Nash worked on the planning committee. He said the celebration exceeded his expectations.
“Everybody... is walking around maskless and smiling and healthy and you know, together, and giving hugs and shaking hands, it's like the best thing in the world,” Nash said.
Organizers say there are plans to make Juneteenth an annual celebration in the Queen City.
In Hartford, well over 100 people gathered in a grassy field along the White River to celebrate Juneteenth.
Norwich resident Liz Blum came out to the festivities. She said the holiday isn’t just a celebration
"It also allows us to learn a lot more about United States’ history that we were never taught," she said.
The event featured poetry, performances, and speeches by educators and elected officials, including Congressman Peter Welch.
State Rep. Kevin "Coach" Christie, a Democrat from Windsor County, spoke about the continued struggle for racial equality. He ended his remarks with a song.
"These green hills and silver waters are my home. They belong to me and to all her sons and daughters let us be strong ... And forever free."
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