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Juneteenth Festival unfolds today

By By Ashley McPhearson / staff writer
June 21, 2003
Under a general theme of empowering the mind, soul and body, Meridian's first Juneteenth Heritage Festival unfolds today with a mix of health screenings, politics and entertainment.
The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. in the African American Historic Commercial District on Fifth Street from 23rd Avenue to 26th Avenue.
Festivities begin with a patriotic tribute. Other entertainment will feature gospel, jazz, hip hop and R&B music. Plus, the Greater Meridian Health Clinic will host an informational both on such health issues as high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and Alzheimer's.
Admission is free. The festival will offer games for both children and adults such as youth putt putt, spades, and bid whist. Inflatable space jumps, slides, basketball, and a sticky wall will also be offered to youth at a cost of $5 for all day. Food vendors will also be set up.
Political speeches will begin at noon with a two-minute limit. The gospel show starts at 1 p.m.
Smith said this year's Juneteenth Heritage Festival is a trial run in preparation for a larger three-day festival in 2004, that may be planned to coincide with the Meridianites Picnic.

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