Aug. 1, 2015 at 6:03 p.m.
Braylynn Martin was waiting patiently to ride the horses at the Old Landmark Committee’s multicultural Juneteenth back-to-school festival Saturday.
Braylynn, 3, had been following her grandfather, Ralph Todd, around all day. She was one of about 15 kids enjoying the food, games, activities and school supplies at the festival.
Todd said it’s good for the children to come to the event and learn about the history of Juneteenth.
“We don’t want it to be a dying culture,” Todd said. “It’s important to know where your roots come from and the reason for the celebration.”
This is the 24 year the group has done a Juneteenth celebration. The event was originally scheduled on the holiday, however floods forced them to reschedule, said Sandra Avery, the founder and president of the Old Landmark Committee.
For Avery, Juneteenth brings back memories of her childhood.
“Juneteenth, that’s a day that we always looked forward to as kids because we had food, and we got to go places where our parents wouldn’t let us go and that was teaching us about our heritage,” Avery said.
Teaching that heritage to children through a good time was the aim of Saturday’s event, said Johnny Todd, nephew of Ralph Todd and committee member.
Victoria West Junior Eric Callaway was at the event with his little brother. He said the event was a good way to gather children together.
“It’s good to get people together and have a good time,” Callaway said. “It’s a good thing to do.”
The event was also to bring people of all cultures together, Todd said.
“With all the racism and everything going on nowadays, we wanted to do something to draw the people together to let them know that there isn’t really a division,” Johnny Todd said. “Yeah, we look different, and we come from different backgrounds, but when you get down to it, it’s the same and that’s what we want to exemplify here.”