DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Dothan community members spent a weekend in celebration as they honor Juneteenth, this year saw the biggest turnout to date.
“Bigger, it was bigger,” Tri-State Expo Director, Evangeline Reynolds said.
Those were the words to describe, the streets of downtown Dothan as they were the site of celebration for the Tri-State Expo Juneteenth festivities.
With the combination of local organizations as well as out of state, the 2nd annual Juneteenth parade was overflowing with support for a holiday that means so much to many.
“Everybody came out to make this new parade route that we are on in Dothan, Alabama which is inclusive of Foster Street it was just incredible,” Reynolds said. “I can’t tell you enough how wonderful it was to have the support of the businesses in the Foster Street area.”
For years Juneteenth celebrations have been a way to commemorate the end of slavery for African-Americans, but for the Tri-State expo, it’s also about recognizing the past while also looking to the future.
“It’s a meaning of what we have overcome, but how far we still need to go,” Reynolds said. “Not only in the eyes of other cultures and races but within our own culture and race. We still have much, much work to do but we are getting it done in a more progressive way.”
Reynolds says seeing so much support from local businesses and the wiregrass is a step in the right direction when honoring juneteenth.
“It’s a deeper understanding,” Reynolds said. “Not only for Juneteenth and it’s relevancy to African Americans, but it lets you know that the city of Dothan, the city of enterprise wants to get on board. To make Juneteenth not only a holiday that is recognized already federally, but they want to get to the heart of it and what it means not only to African Americans but other cultures in the Wiregrass.”
The Tri-State Expo already has plans for next year to make the Juneteenth festivities big and better.