PHOTO STORY: Third annual Juneteenth festival returns to Plym Park

Published 1:21 pm Tuesday, June 20, 2023

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NILES — Community members gathered at Plym Park Monday for an afternoon of friendship, fun and education.

Dozens of people from Niles and beyond attended the third  annual Juneteenth We Know Better Project Festival.

Organized by Ylonda Scott of Ylonda’s Women Business Retreat, Tiara Williams of Tattoo the World and Marci Taylor of Women Who Boss Up and WSMK 99.1, the event featured a line of speakers covering topics from mental health to financial literacy to the art of song and dance, and more. Food, vendors and games were also on site. Cam Herth, Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Lake Michigan College, read aloud a special Juneteenth proclamation. In addition, this year’s event featured a parade and recognized area black-owned businesses and also crowned a festival king and queen. 

“People are coming out and there’s already unity,” Scott said. “That’s what I’m loving. We have good music and good food going on.”

For Scott, the event was a day of unity, celebration and learning.

“It’s about learning who we are and having something for us while still having the whole community because it’s a mixture of people here. We as black people are made up of all kinds of nationalities but to have something where we can come and celebrate each other is one of the best feelings. It’s about looking at where we have come from and to recognize it, enjoy it and celebrate it. I’m just in love with it.”