Paris will celebrate Juneteenth this weekend with two events — one today on the holiday itself and one on Saturday.
Today, a peaceful demonstration will take begin at 3 p.m. at Paris’ downtown park at the corner of East Wood and North Market streets.
Elijah Kane Corrado of Black Lives Matter of Paris stressed the gathering would be very peaceful.
“We just want to invite people to come and celebrate the holiday with us peacefully,” he said. “Everyone is welcome, no matter what race, religion or sexual orientation.”
Others plan to mark the holiday on Saturday with a festival at Ogburn Park.
The festival will last from noon until 5 p.m. at the park, located at 539 East Washington St. Vendors will be present to sell food and other refreshments.
Art from local African-American artists will be on sale, and several community members will speak, sing and perform readings.
Kickball and a Tik Tok competitions for younger guests will take place.
Juneteenth, which is also called Freedom Day or Jubilee Day, celebrates the emancipation of the last remaining enslaved African-Americans in the Confederate states.
On June 19, 1865, a group of Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, with the news that the war was over, the Confederacy had fallen and the enslaved were free.
This date came two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, as much of Texas was never made aware.