Hundreds celebrate freedom at Tyler Juneteenth celebration - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Hundreds celebrate freedom at Tyler Juneteenth celebration

(Source: KLTV Staff) (Source: KLTV Staff)
(Source: KLTV Staff) (Source: KLTV Staff)

Juneteenth celebrations also served as a history lesson for a younger generation Saturday in Tyler.

On June 19, 1865, slaves in Texas first heard of their freedom nearly three years after the Emancipation Proclamation. That information that was deliberately withheld from slaves.

Decades later, a celebration of freedom brought hundreds to Woldert Park in Tyler.

"Every year it's larger and larger. We have plenty of children in this neighborhood, everywhere in Tyler," said resident Irene Sessions.

Sessions has lived in Tyler for 60 years and said she looks forward to the Juneteenth celebration because it brings the community together.

"People (are) coming in from all directions to celebrate the 19th of June," Sessions said.

Following a parade, residents filled the park for food, music and a car show.

Attendees say it's history that brings them there and keeps them coming back year after year.

"June the 19th is celebrated because back a long time ago, I don't think we knew what that meant but as we got older we understood," Vastine Ciero said. "The emancipation proclamation was presented, the slaves were free but they didn't know it until the next two years."

It’s a day in history that many believe should never be forgotten. Attendees said they hope events like this one help people to remember where they've come from.

"It educates the younger generation and they look forward to it," Sessions said.

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