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People fill area parks to attend festivals

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Updated: 6/15/2013 8:24 pm
TUPELO & COLUMBUS, Miss. (WTVA) - Live music was cranked up and performed as people gathered in Tupelo for what is now called Ida Street Fest.

It's an opportunity for people to come out and enjoy fun under the sun, reward local people's work for improving the community and discuss issues that are causing divides amongst the community.

"First thing we need to do is stop the violence in our community," adds Mack Turner, President of United Brothers & Sisters Mississippi Chapter. "There's too much of that sagging. I am against that because when I was coming up we had to pull our pants up. "You know the community [is] coming together and it's shown today, that we all coming together."

In Columbus people gathered at Sim Scott Park to celebrate JuneTeenth Festival.

"The celebration means that we just get together, have fun, see the kids play," adds Ashaki Moody, Artesia resident. "Everybody just come together as one in the community."

"I mean anytime in the summer you have something to do or even come out and fellowship and see friends sometime you just haven't seen, you know it's a good time to get out," said Kayla Stokes, Columbus resident.

For those who are unfamiliar with Juneteenth and what it means for people on the third weekend of June long time cordinator LeRoy Brooks says it has a special meaning for those who participate throughout a three day period.

"It's really a family affair," adds LeRoy Brooks, co-cordinator. "We get people from all over the southeastern part of the country. We get vendors from all over. So it's just it's an experience. Some people call it a festival. I call it an experience."

As each year passes not only is the Juneteenth Festival expanding throughout the United States but it is also going overseas and its taking place in foreign countries and also on military bases abroad.

"They celebrate it all around the world," adds Santana Houston, Starkville resident. "It gives like communities time to come together and reunite military bases and all that I am also in the military. So go military and you know enjoy yourself."

Between the two cities only Columbus still celebrates Juneteenth.

The festival commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas during the year 1865.

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