Hundreds celebrate Juneteenth at Patton Park

Juneteenth in Birmingham

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Hundreds came out to Patton Park Friday afternoon to celebrate freedom during a Family Reunion Picnic.

The celebration was unifying, uplifting, and for some, a learning experience.

People of all ages walked through the park socializing, and eating food from local food trucks, while music was playing from all sides of the park. Parents could be heard explaining to their young child the importance of Juneteenth.

Neco Jones, a Birmingham resident at the celebration, said she prays for her son every day, fearing for his safety as an African American man. But she said this Juneteenth event shows her how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go.

“I send prayers up every day every night, said Jones. “And it’s time. It’s time for change. It’s a new change for the new generation to get involved.”

Mayor Randall Woodfin, who was also at Friday's celebration, explained what he hopes the future of Juneteenth in Birmingham will look like. 

“What I would love to see is that we commemorate Juneteenth in the form, if it’s on a weekday, that we commemorate this day by having some form of service to the community.”

Masks were also given away and people were able to register to vote.

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