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City of Stillwater hosts Juneteenth celebration

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People from all over the Stillwater community gathered to celebrate Juneteenth with games and refreshments for everyone to enjoy.

A heat index of 102 didn’t stop the city of Stillwater from hosting a successful Juneteenth celebration at Southern Woods Park on Saturday afternoon. 

As the first Juneteenth celebration in Stillwater in many years, the city got several activities, prizes, food and music going for attendees. From snow cone stands to BBQ trucks to Raising Canes’ refreshments, there were all kinds of options for people to enjoy. 

Bouncy houses, live bingo and cornhole were also at the park. Kids got to have fun on the bouncy houses all afternoon and anyone who wanted to participate in bingo, where you go around and find people who have done the activities on the card, could do so for the chance to win a gift card. The hosts of the event said it was a great way for people to talk to and meet the other people attending. 

Trish Ranson, Representative for House District 34, spoke at the event about the impact this celebration will have on the community. 

“It’s the power this event has,” Ranson said. “The power of bringing people together who wouldn’t normally cross paths and showing them that they are more similar than different, that power is the impact this will have on the people of Stillwater.” 

Along with the games and activities, live music from The Hebrew Messengers, Reese Da’ Prophet Brown, Mt. Zion Praise Team and Youth Step Dance Group were also featured. Stillwater Community United and other partners that put the event on also had a button making and coloring stand, the splash pad at the park was up and running and the Stillwater Police and Fire Departments had a firetruck and service dog at the event for people to enjoy. 

An attendee at the park spoke about future hopes for the Juneteenth celebration.

“Obviously, COVID and funding reasons have stopped the Juneteenth event from happening the last couple years,” the attendee said. “But it’s great to see everyone here and coming together after the hard last couple years we’ve had. I hope that moving forward, we will have a celebration every year and we will continue to heal what has been hurt and show the town the importance of celebrating Juneteenth.”