(PHOTOS) Clarkston holds second annual Juneteenth celebration

Dashawn Gibbs, 6, has a shaved ice during the city of Clarkston Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 18, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.

By Sara Amis and Dean Hesse

Clarkston, GA  — The city of Clarkston held its second annual Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 18. Parts of Market Street and Vaughan Street were blocked off to accommodate vendors, food trucks, community service organizations, a bounce house, and a stage. Performances included Manga Dancers, an African style drum and dance troupe who offered an impromptu dance lesson to the audience, Word of Mouth Stories, and musician Makeda Nichelle.

Mayor Beverly Burks connected the history of Juneteenth as a celebration of freedom to the present-day community of Clarkston and her own position as a woman of color in government.

She also spoke of the spirit of the holiday as reflected in the vendors and organizations present.

“Juneteenth is a celebration of togetherness, to ensure empowerment and social justice for our residents,” said Burks.

City council member Debra Johnson, who chaired the Juneteenth planning committee, said that the city offered free spaces for local small businesses as well as to community organizations such as the NAACP and Georgia Piedmont Technical College. Community Organized Relief Effort was at the event, offering vaccines and gift cards in coordination with the DeKalb Department of Public Health.

City employees will receive a day off on Monday, June 20, when city offices will be closed.

Tawana Jones from the NAACP DeKalb County Branch, center, Clarkston City Council Member Debra Johnson, on right, and others do the Cupid Shuffle during the city of Clarkston Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 18, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Phyo prepares a tea-leaf salad during the city of Clarkston Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 18, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Jabari Clark, on right, hula-hoops with his son Zakai, 8, during the city of Clarkston Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 18, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Aregash give the hula-hoop a try during the city of Clarkston Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 18, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Miss Tea Cup the Clown, Reinta Knight hands Landen Boyd, 5, a balloon sword during the city of Clarkston Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 18, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
DeKalb County District 4 Commissioner Steve Bradshaw with Clarkston City Council Member Susan Hood at the popcorn machine during the city of Clarkston Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 18, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Clarkston Mayor Beverly Burks gets a hug from DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond after introducing him during the city of Clarkston Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 18, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond speaks during the city of Clarkston Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 18, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Sania, 5, works on an art project during the city of Clarkston Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 18, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Mustalifa Hassan, 11, sits in the shade during the city of Clarkston Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 18, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
People stroll along Market Street during the city of Clarkston Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 18, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Deborah Strahorn from “Word of Mouth Stories n3d” performs the story of Adrienne McNeil Herndon during the city of Clarkston Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 18, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Clarkston Mayor Beverly Burks sits with siblings Niara, front, and Zakai on left, and Sania, front, and Leala on right, who attended the city of Clarkston Juneteenth Festival with their parents on Saturday, June 18, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Stephanie Solvig and Amina Osman move to music from the DJ during the city of Clarkston Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 18, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Edward Robinson from H.P. Taylor Brotherhood reacts to DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond’s speech during the city of Clarkston Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 18, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Tewelde with his son Nebiy during the city of Clarkston Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 18, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Clarkston Mayor Beverly Burks reacts to the day during the city of Clarkston Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 18, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Clarkston Economic Development Coordinator Dineta O’Hara wears this year’s festival T-shirt during the city of Clarkston Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 18, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.

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