SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS) — Usually, on June 19 a parade is held in Syracuse to honor Juneteenth. But for a second year in a row, that won’t be happening because of COVID-19 restrictions.
Instead, the Greater Syracuse Southside Neighborhood Association is hosting the Southside Weekend Celebration.
“All the nationality events have been canceled in Syracuse, the Irish festival the Italian festival have been canceled and we decided we still wanted to recognize Juneteenth,” said community activist Charles Pierce.
There will be COVID-19 vaccinations available for anyone 12 and older, as well as voter registration and education.
The U.S. Army Reserves are heading the vaccination part of the festival and its important to the community to have minorities seen in higher positions, said Pierce.
“Also seeing people of color in high positions creates more trust in the community,” said Pierce.
Rebecka Holifield, a mom and pop shop owner in the city of Syracuse, believes events like these are important for the community.
“I mean this is my city, this is where I grew up this is where I’m from. So for me it’s not about coming from Camillus and coming in here to work everyday, this is where I’m from,” said Holifield.
By providing free food and music for the event, she shows her commitment to the community.
The ceremonies will close with a cornerstone award presentation recognizing long term community activist.