Cape Fear celebrates Juneteenth

First in-person festival after two year hiatus

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – The community came together over the weekend to celebrate a monumental part of history for Black Americans.

One of many Juneteenth events in the Cape Fear happened in Wilmington.

Co-chair Abdul Rahman of the Juneteenth Committee of Wilmington, Inc. said he has always embraced the significance of June 19, 1865.

That day, soldiers landed in Galveston – Texas to announce the end to the institution of slavery – two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

“We didn’t wait for someone to make it a federal holiday to celebrate,” he said. “We’re having Juneteenth; it’s been a long time coming, we have a human Diaspora that we need to connect with.”

Yvette Robinson was a vendor at the festival and said the event helps the community come together.

“We definitely need that in our community, to be able to communicate with other people,” said Robinson.

Former educator Anna Cubbage everyone should immerse themselves in their local community.

“As a white member of the community, I think it’s important to come out and to be a part of the community and to commemorate Juneteenth,” said Cubbage.

This year was the 27th annual Juneteenth Festival put on by the Juneteenth Committee of Wilmington, Inc., which was on hiatus for two years, 

The festival went virtual but it just wasn’t the same, according to organizers. This year’s theme is ‘Family Reunion’ which is what it felt like on Saturday.  

Annette Freeman came out to connect with her community.

“This is a chance when we get to come out and see one another, and celebrate,” said Freeman.

Tyrone Hill sang for the crowd and said it was a nice change to finally be back together in person.

“We really do need each other; we need that interaction,” said Hill.

Adults and kids – enjoyed music, food, Black art and culture at the MLK Community Center in Wilmington.

Camille Holmes is new to the Cape fear and did not want to miss the chance to celebrate Juneteenth.

“Yes, I’m from New York, my new home is North Carolina, and I am embracing it with love,” said Holmes.

Juneteenth is about having fun, but it’s not just a party, according to Rahman.

“But reuniting the family is the big thing in Juneteenth,” he said. “There was a time family was separated, your mother could be living 10 miles down the road, and you could never go see her, it’s about family, being connected in spirit.”

Juneteenth will continue Monday night in Wilmington at 7:00 p.m. – with a celebration through storytelling by “Grand-Daddy June Bug”.

This is a family-friendly event and is free and open to the public,  space is limited,  RSVP with your name and number of people in your party by email

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