Dahmer Park flag raising celebrates Juneteenth holiday

Early Juneteenth celebration held in Hattiesburg
Published: Jun. 3, 2023 at 9:50 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Events celebrating the upcoming Juneteenth holiday have begun in the Pine Belt.

Saturday morning, organizers with the Hattiesburg Juneteenth Celebration hosted a ninth annual flag-raising ceremony at Vernon Dahmer Park.

It featured both the American and Juneteenth flags.

Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans.

Saturday’s event was a prelude to traditional Juneteenth activities at Dahmer Park that will take place the weekend before the federal Juneteenth holiday on June 19.

“We have our big parade that starts our celebration on the morning of June 17,” Rev. Ray A. Smith, Hattiesburg Juneteenth Celebration executive director/coordinator. “The celebration will kick off at 10 a.m. that morning and we’ll have booths, a variety of foods, arts and crafts.”

The featured speaker Saturday was Sylvia Holmes-Myers, National Juneteenth Observance Foundation president.

That organization was started by Holmes-Myers’ late husband, Dr. Ronald Myers Sr.

“If a lot of times, you see we have the Juneteenth flag and the American flag, (that’s) because the two of them represent the flags of freedom,” said Holmes-Myers. “My husband coined that.

“The two of them together are America’s flags of freedom, the Juneteenth flag and the United States flag.“

The Hattiesburg Juneteenth celebration is in its 40th year.

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