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Juneteenth Festival comes to Meridian

By By Ashley McPhearson / staff writer
June 14, 2003
Sharon Smith, manager of Main Street, has high hopes for the 1st Annual Juneteenth Festival.
The festival is scheduled for June 21, from 11 a.m.-11 p.m., in Meridian's African American Historic Commercial District Fifth Street from 23rd Avenue to 26th Avenue.
The festival is a collaboration of the Multi-County Community Service Agency, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Sandwedge Golf Association, the Greater Meridian Health Clinic, the Council of Organizations and the Pan Hellenic Council.
Smith said organizers hope the festival fosters understanding and appreciation of the diversity among people.
The festival will offer food, and games for children and adults such as youth putt-putt, spades and bid whist. Political candidates will start giving speeches at noon, but will be limited to two minutes.
A gospel show will start at 1 p.m. and will feature groups such as Brick.
Brick plays "old-school" music from the 70s and 80s, when large bands and horn sections were popular reminiscent of Earth, Wind and Fire and the Commodores.
Smith said she hopes to expand the festival next year.
Sponsors for the Juneteenth Festival also include Mitchell Distributing Company, Clear Channel Radio and Johnson Dodge Kia. Churches and other organizations are making donations.
Admission is free. For more information, call Sharon Smith, 484-6841, or e-mail sharonsmith@meridianms.org.

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