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Mason City residents come together to celebrate Juneteenth

Mason City residents took to Monroe Park on Saturday to celebrate Juneteenth, the newest federal holiday in the United States.

Tahmyrah Lytle, the president of Mason City for Justice and the organizer of the Mason City Juneteenth event, said the event was about both education and fun.

“I’m hoping to educate people on why we have this holiday and why we celebrate,” Lytle said. “We also have food and music so should be a good day.”

Juneteenth is recognized on June 19 annually to celebrate the day in 1865 when soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas to free enslaved African-Americans. Juneteenth is recognized by many as the day slavery was truly ended in the United States of America.  

President Joe Biden signed a bill into law on Thursday making Juneteenth the newest American federal holiday.

Lytle is excited about Juneteenth being declared a federal holiday but hopes it won’t detract from the true meaning of what happened on June 19, 1865.

“It’s great in the way that we are honoring this day,” Lytle said. “But a lot of federal holidays we can get away from what it was originally supposed to mean.”  

Those who attended the event in Monroe Park celebrated Juneteenth with food and drinks, games of kickball and music.

Zachary Dupont covers politics and business development for the Globe Gazette. You can reach him at 641-421-0533 or zachary.dupont@globegazette.com. Follow Zachary on Twitter at @ZachNDupont

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