Cecilia Randolph grew up celebrating Juneteenth.
It was an important time to come together, filled with family, community and fun, she said.
And for nearly two decades, she’s made sure that tradition continues in Pasco. Randolph helps coordinate the annual Juneteenth festivities, which culminate this weekend.
“Juneteenth is for the community,” Randolph said. “It’s for everyone.”
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This year’s celebration kicked off with the Miss Juneteenth scholarship pageant on June 10.
The Fourth of July is for the community. Cinco de Mayo is for the community. And so it Juneteenth. This is a community event.
A family skate night was Thursday at Rollarena in Richland. And activities continue today with a talent show, fashion show and community awards ceremony at 6 p.m. at Pasco High School, followed by a parade and community event at 11 a.m. Saturday.
The parade starts at Highland Park and ends at Kurtzman Park, where games, food, music and more is planned.
The Mid-Columbia Mastersingers are among those scheduled to take the stage.
The events are free.
Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S. It dates to June 19, 1865, when news of the end of the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation reached Galveston, Texas.
Randolph said some might think of Juneteenth as being solely for African Americans, but that’s not the case.
“The Fourth of July is for the community. Cinco de Mayo is for the community. And so it Juneteenth. This is a community event,” she said.