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"It's just something we do, no matter what," Bryan Resident shares on participating in annual Juneteenth celebration

Posted at 10:20 AM, Jun 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-20 11:20:10-04

BRYAN, TEXAS — Saturday's Juneteenth celebrations mark the first since the day has been recognized as a federal holiday.

The Brazos Valley African American Heritage and Cultural Society welcomed people from all over for their annual Brazos Valley Juneteenth parade and Blues Fest Saturday.

No-matter how big or how small the annual Juneteenth parade is, Lee Hunter says you'll find her watching it each year.

"It's not much, but it's something for June 19th that Black people celebrate.... which everyone celebrates now," Lee Hunter, a Bryan resident said.

Hunter a resident of Bryan's west side says the significance of Juneteenth is now getting the recognition it deserves and having moments like watching the parade with her children gets even more memorable with each year that passes.

"Right now they really don't understand... but they know that this is for them and for everybody... people that look like them. It's just something that we do and it's to be celebrated," Hunter added.

The Juneteenth parade kicked off on West Martin Luther King Jr Street Saturday morning and finished at Sadie Thomas Memorial park, a celebration on the heels of federal recognition.

"As long as its recognized and we have actually have a voice and we feel like we have a voice out here... I don't see anything wrong with it. There is only one way to go up from here. I would think.. I would hope," Houston native, William Howard, who is visiting family in BCS said.

Leaving even out-of-towners like William Howard hopeful the event will deliver a deep-rooted impact on his 4 year old daughter.

"Pride, pride in yourself, pride in your family.. pride in your heritage. To be able to show that, we are family no-matter where we are from or where we come from, we are all a family and that's what I hope she takes away the most," Howard added.

For Hunter, a lifelong Bryan resident, acknowledging the historic injustices Black Americans endured in this country is a must.

"To have lived here in this neighborhood my whole life.. just to be a part of it, no-matter how long or how small the parade is. It's just something we do, no matter what," Hunter said.

The free celebration continues with Blues Fest, featuring Hard 2 Find, from 6:30 to 9:30 Saturday night at the Palace Theater in downtown Bryan.

On the same street as where the parade route was, the Carver Kemp Neighborhood Association held their own Juneteenth celebration.

Their event was held at Hope's Crossing also a free celebration in Bryan which included BBQ, snow cones and family fun.

The event started at 10 am and went on until they ran out of food.