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Juneteenth celebrations begin in Central Kentucky

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Posted at 10:53 AM, Jun 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-19 10:53:40-04

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — Juneteenth has been celebrated so far with a variety of events across Central Kentucky on Saturday. People celebrated with food, music, and activities.

The holiday celebrates when the final enslaved people were freed from confederate states. At the time, people were still enslaved in Kentucky, whose slaves were not freed until December, according to Maureen Lavelle, the Lead Park Ranger at Camp Nelson National Monument.

She was at a Juneteenth event in Nicholasville, sharing Camp Nelson’s connections to slavery - and the African Americans who were enlisted at the camp, with people.

An event was held at a cemetery where Black people who were enlisted at the center are buried. Speakers told the stories of people who were enlisted at the camp.

Also in Lexington, food was the focus at SoulTeenth Fest, now in its second year.

“We’re so happy to put this on in celebration of all things black culinary, so restauranteurs, chefs, and farmers. The community support has really really been great,” said Marcellus Barksdale, co-founder of Soul Feast.

Having so much attention on Juneteenth is something Jim Thurman would have been unimaginable when he was growing up. “The heart of America wasn't there,” he said.

"Juneteenth is a great time for America to look back, come together, and move forward," Thurman added.