Juneteenth celebrations echo through parish

Photo by Stephanie Young

Ruston and Grambling residents celebrated Juneteenth throughout last week with a music festival, a charity walk, a parade and much more.

For the Miss Juneteenth pageant, Kesynce Brewster-Daniel was crowned as this year’s winner, Gabrielle Simmons was named Junior Miss Juneteenth and Briley Kent was named Little Miss Juneteenth.

In the poetry contest, the selection of winners was broken down into three categories:

Category 1: Aneida Jackson, first place; Ace Young, second place; Kenya Hamilton, third place;
Category 2: Kaejha Stewart, first place; Mario Lewis, second place; Jason Richardson, third place;
Category 3: Brielle Smart, first place; Kierra Fields, second place; Kelby Gates, third place.

The bakeoff winners were: Rita Sims, first place; Artaeus Burks, second place; and Tamika Ferguson, third place.

Juneteenth is made up of the words “June” and “nineteenth” and is celebrated because on June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Texas to inform slaves that slavery had been abolished. Juneteenth also serves as an opportunity to celebrate African American culture and heritage.

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