Juneteenth Saturday at Shrine Building in Warsaw

By Jackie Gorski

WARSAW — One Warsaw is putting on its fifth Juneteenth event Saturday at the Kosciusko County Fairgrounds Shrine Building, 1400 E. Smith St., Warsaw.

Juneteenth, or Freedom Day, is the oldest internationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19 the Union soldiers, led by Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas, with news that the war had ended and slaves were free.

Doors for Saturday’s event open at 5 p.m., with people invited to be at the event from 6 to 8 p.m. Sara Strahan, One Warsaw committee member, said people don’t have to RSVP for the event, but it is preferred they do so at the Juneteenth Celebration Facebook page.

There will be a celebration with music and a discussion by members of the Warsaw Community High School Coalition for Black Culture — an after-school teacher-sponsored club — will discuss what Juneteenth means to them, Strahan said.

During the event, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office deputy Shaun Mudd, who started an anti-bullying campaign in the county, will be the featured speaker.

There also will be a panel discussion on economic and community issues by owner and founder of Glitter Hair and Beauty Supply Raquel Hoyt, retired Ivy Tech Chancellor Bill Smith and Snyder Strategy Realty Realtor Alicia Taylor.

There will also be craft activities and games. An hors d’oeuvre buffet with sausage bites, cornbread and collard green creations from 110 Craft Meatery will be available.

Strahan said she feels Juneteenth is important because it commemorates an important part of history that shouldn’t be forgotten. Everyone should be celebrating any sort of civil rights gains the country has.

She hopes people can bring community, unity and education together during the event. She hopes the event brings about a level of education about Juneteenth, along with community connectivity.