7th annual Mitchelville Juneteenth celebrations this weekend

Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 10:14 AM EDT
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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WTOC) - With Juneteenth this weekend, we’re highlighting different events you can go to in our area all week long.

In Hilton Head, a historic site is hosting its 7th annual celebration.

“Mitchelville is the first town of self-governing formerly-enslaved people in the United States,” said Ahmad Ward, Executive Director, historic Mitchelville Freedom Park.

Now, its a historic site and park whose memory is being kept alive.

“They built schools, churches, businesses and so at its height between 1862 and 1868 there were about 3000 people here in Mitchelville.”

Over 150 years later some pieces of history remain standing while others are celebrated.

“Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the end of slavery in America going back to June 19th, 1865.”

He says it was a party centered around freedom, and at a place with this tagline, it only makes sense to keep that party going.

“We believe this is where Africans in America had the first opportunity to be citizens of something that they owned. There was real freedom in that citizenship, there was real freedom in that land ownership.”

They’ve got a sleepover in the park Thursday night and a festival on Saturday. Ward listed off all the activities to come on Saturday for over a minute, meaning there’s not enough time to tell you all they’ve got going on, but the gist is...

“It’s a family festival, people can come and bring the whole family here and let the kids run around from 11 to 3 on Saturday.”

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