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June 11, 2014

NAACP chapter set for Juneteenth celebration

— An upcoming community event will commemorate the abolition of slavery in the United States.

The Johnstown branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will hold its Juneteenth celebration from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday at Lorain/Moxham Park, Green Valley Road off Ohio Street, Johnstown. It’s an opportunity for people to come together and recognize a pivotal moment in history.

Alan Cashaw, president of the Johnstown branch of the NAACP, said Juneteenth dates back to the Civil War, when President Abraham Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation, which went into effect Jan. 1, 1863, and freed all slaves.

“Word didn’t spread through the whole country until June 1865,” he said.

That date led to the creation of the Juneteenth holiday, which is acknowledged by most states.

The Johnstown event will coincide with Father’s Day. There will be no charge to get into the park.

“It’s a family day cookout for people from all Johnstown neighborhoods to come out and enjoy themselves and celebrate,” Cashaw said.

Members of the NAACP will be selling picnic-type food – hot dogs, hamburgers and beverages – for $1 each.

Additional local vendors will be on hand selling food as well.

Attendees will be entertained by music of Smooth Sounds.

There also will be a voter registration booth set up and another for the NAACP, where people can learn more about what the organization does.

Cashaw added that the event is important because it serves as a reminder that we are one community and one citizen.

“This isn’t just a black holiday but a holiday for the whole country,” he said.

Kelly Urban is a reporter with The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/KellyUrban25.

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