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Juneteenth Celebration Marks Historical Time of Freedom

Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2024 at 9:24 am


Slaves were freed by The Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, but not everyone received the news in a timely manner.

Texas was the last Confederate State to hear the news and it came two months after the War Between the States ended.

On June 19, 1865 a group of Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas with the news the approximately 250,000 slaved in the state were free. The day would be known as “Juneteenth”.

Saturday Bedford County will hold a “Juneteenth” celebration.

The festivities begin early with a walk starting led by Robert Johnson, walk participants will meet at The Gilliland Historical House at 807 Lipscomb St.

The walk will proceed to Tillman St. and then go past Purdy Court, Colloredo Blvd. and Lane Parkway and then cross Highway 231 South. The walk will end on the East Side of the square.

At 9 a.m. parade participants will line up at Southern Energy at 211 Lane4 Parkway. The route will go east down Lane Parkway, turn right on Spring St. and then go around the square and down North Main St. The parade will begin at 10 a.m.

Participants are asked to decorate with a “Juneteenth” theme. There is no entry fee.

Entertainment and activities will be held on the square beginning with open remarks at 11 a.m. The celebration is scheduled to end at 4 p.m.

The agenda start with an opening prayer by Tony Cornish followed by a moment of silence for those who have passed.

Gary Haile will sing the “National Anthem” followed by Tamika Coats performing the “Black National Anthem”.

Carman Biggers will make a presentation on Juneteenth history followed by a song from Coats.

Brenda Hodge will read a Juneteenth poem.

Terry Cooper will speak on Bedford County’s role in The Civil War.

Vickie Cornish will announce the sponsors.

City of Shelbyville Mayor Randy Carroll and Bedford County Mayor Chad Graham will greet the crowd.

Also providing greetings will be Minister Patricia Simmons from The Community Clinic; Dr. Monica Smith from MTSU and Carman Biggers.

Entertainment will include:

*The Middle Tennessee Mass Choir

*DJ David Hartful

*Huntsville Drumline

*Singer Hope McKee

*Saxophone solo by Thomas Allison

*Tullahoma Kuntry Stars dance group

Closing remarks will be made by Brother Albert Nelson and Robert Garrison.


Vendors registered include, Kamila Basher, Scott United Methodist Church, James E. Claybourne selling T-shirts commemorating black schools. The Shelbyville-Bedford County Public Library, Bedford County Listening Project, Charity Lodge No. 82, Rebecca No. 34 Order of the Eastern Star, Bedford County Democratic Party, Community Clinic of Shelbyville and Bedford County, Inc., Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, BJeans Sweets and Treats, Smokey Ray’s Barbecue, crafts by No. 11 Joe Frazier, Nelson’s Grill, Sevier St. First Baptists Ushers, Carolyn’s Baked Goodies. CASA Works, Inc., and Morgan Gross, craftsman.