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Juneteenth celebration in Capital City

7 months 3 days 20 hours ago Saturday, June 20 2020 Jun 20, 2020 June 20, 2020 11:24 PM June 20, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ Staff

BATON ROUGE - Several Juneteenth events were held over the weekend in Baton Rouge, including the first city caravan and first downtown family festival.

"The black lives movement, George Floyd after that, the black conscience is really starting to rise up" Juneteenth Festival Organizer, Geno McLaughlin said.

More than 200 visitors came out to the festival held in the square behind city hall.

Visitors were treated to live music, poetry, and free COVID-19 testing.

Masks were required and hand washing stations were placed everywhere.

"We don't want to add to the problem, and we still want to have an event like this," McLaughlin said.

Saturday morning the city's first Juneteeth Unified Caravan rolled out from Memorial Stadium, escorted by two dozen police motorcycles.

"We did not want to cancel Juneteenth, because you can't cancel freedom day, we're doing a unified, citywide caravan," Pat McAllister-LeDuff, event co-organizer said.

Because of the coronavirus, the caravan was held instead of the traditional celebration that Sadie Roberts held for decades before her death last year.

"My mother would love this. She would be over the moon, ecstatic. This is something she always wanted to do, " Jason Robert, Sadie Robert's son said.

Organizers planned both of the events and extended the Juneteenth activities in the Capitol City to run for two days. 

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