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Juneteeth Parade celebrates community

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Jonesboro, Arkansas – On Saturday, Jonesboro commemorated Juneteenth with a parade.

For the early morning march, several companies and groups lined up. Community people waited on Church Street as the parade made its way from the E Boone Watson Center.

One such person was Vanessa Griffin Harris, who made the long journey from Greeneville, Mississippi, to see her grandchild in the parade.

“I’m also really enjoying celebrating freedom, thanking God for the unity, thanking God for the organizers who came together, I know it’s hard getting people to work together,” she said.

People had the opportunity to learn about other groups and businesses as automobiles and people rolled down the street, something LaGanzie Kale, the creator of KLEK, said is just one aspect of the Juneteenth experience.

“We should learn about each other’s cultures, that’s just going to help to strengthen our bonds and strengthen our unity in the community,” he said.

Qubilah Jones, a community leader who was instrumental in starting the Juneteenth celebration in Jonesboro, passed away in 2022, but the parade made sure she was still remembered by appointing her as the procession’s Grand Marshall.

“I know she’s looking down from heaven and I know she’s just gotta be smiling and she just sending down pink sugar kisses and telling everyone to be intentional, but we are really honored that we could continue do this and to keep building on the legacy that she started,”

Griffin Harris expressed excitement for future Juneteenth festivities and for returning to Jonesboro as the parade came to a close.

“I am enjoying this, and like I said, I’m glad my kids are part of this community, I love little people palace and I am just grateful to be here,” she said.

The Jonesboro Mayor Harold Copenhaver will read a proclamation on Monday at KLEK Studios to continue the Juneteenth celebrations.

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