Thousands expected at Nacogdoches Juneteenth

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Even in set up, the Nacogdoches Juneteenth celebration is bringing the good out in people.

The new faith church in Sacul loans and raises its big tent. It's just the nice thing to do.

"Bible tells us tat we've got to be helpers to everybody," said Dale Cunningham, a New Faith church member. "And that's why we're out here."

The progressive leadership group renewed the Juneteenth celebration five years ago. Its founders, let's say, is a mature group seeing a need.

"We needed to pull members of this community together and to share information about what was going on in our communities and we just said, 'let's get together and plan some things,'" said Charlotte Stokes of the Progressive Leadership Group.

Topping the list was a Juneteenth event to celebrate when black slaves in Texas got the news that slavery had ended two years earlier. Texas celebrations continue 147 years later.@

"Games for the kids, moon bounces," said Earrick Stigall, a festival volunteer. "We're gonna have some dancers and then in the afternoon we're gonna have blue acts for tomorrow afternoon."

Absent from the event this year is John Morrison. The NAACP president passed away earlier this year. He would be glad to see so many young people stepping up to the plate.

"The reason that I even work with Juneteenth so hard is I like for young people, especially young African Americans, to know the history," said Organizer Patrick Sanders.

"You got to know your history, to know, kinda shape your future," said SFA student Dedrick Walker.

Which looks pretty promising in Nacogdoches. Close to 2,000 people are expected to attend Saturday's activities.

A downtown parade begins at 11 a.m.

All day long are children's activities.

A Houston dance group performs around noon.

Then from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Southern blues by "Down to Earth Band" and legendary "Rue Davis" of Houston will be the send-off.

All the events are free.

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