San Angelo, Texas — Hundreds of people showed up to the Juneteenth parade and celebration at Martin Luther King Park over Father’s Day weekend. The celebrations have continuously grown, with this year’s being the largest yet.
“Word of mouth helps but to see it come together, it makes you feel so much better about number one, I am a San Angeloan, and number two look at my community, they came out,” Cherette Cook a member of the Black Shear Heights Family Community said.
Those with the Black Shear Heights Family Community say in the past the parade would end within two to three minutes, but this go around it took over 15 minutes for the procession to finish. Serving a proof that Juneteenth is both a big day in San Angelo and that the celebrations are growing and reaching new people every year.
I always tell people it’s like our Super Bowl,” Darryl Kelly with Black Shear Heights Family Community said. ‘We’re happy about the big turnout, we want to have a good time and want to teach people about the growth of Juneteenth and you know what it’s about. It is not just for black people it’s for everybody.’
Juneteenth became a national holiday on June 15th and for Cherette Cook that signifies real change
“If you want the change to happen, be the change, I feel like we are seeing the change, we are part of the change now,” Cook said.
For Darryl Kelly the new national holiday is an added bonus on top of the growth of support they’ve seen locally.
“It shows you that more people want to be involved more people seeing the growth that we’re doing, and they’re sharing the good which is important,” Kelly said.
To Cook, the importance of Juneteenth celebrations is just that, celebrating and remembering what the holiday means.
the ancestors who made it possible for all of us to even happen, so it’s just all about celebration being happy, being comfortable in your own skin loving your community wherever you live, and just embracing others,
Cook and Kelly say getting people together around the community, no matter their background, is what Juneteenth celebrations are all about.
“We always can learn from each other,” Kelly said. ‘So, anytime we’re around each other, we’re able to learn and just make the world a better place,”