HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The heat did not keep a large crowd from gathering at Vernon Dahmer Park in Hattiesburg for the annual Juneteenth celebrations Saturday.
The events kicked off with various gospel artists, followed by blues and R&B performers taking center stage.
The celebration featured food, activities and many people having a good time. Juneteenth is a nationwide event that began 150 years ago. It began in Galveston, Texas, when slaves were freed.
Organizers said it is important to never lose sight of the event's purpose.
"It brings the city together as community, and it gives us a good visual picture of who we are, and the things we need to work on as a community, and how we can share with one another," Rev. Alan Smith said. "In light of the incidents that have happen where people have died due to incidents, you know Juneteenth is an excellent opportunity for us to come together and collaborate on those things."
This was the 30th year for Juneteenth in Hattiesburg.