PHOTO STORY: Annual Juneteenth Festival returns to Plym Park

Published 5:08 pm Thursday, June 20, 2024

NILES — Community members gathered at Plym Park Wednesday for an afternoon of food, fun and fellowship.

Hundreds of people from Niles and beyond attended the fourth annual Juneteenth Festival. Co-founded by Ylonda Scott, CEO of Sheboss Oasis Business Anchor LLC., and Tiara Williams, CEO of Tattoo The World Nonprofit Organization, the festival celebrated freedom, culture and community with this year’s theme: “Creative Expression: Empowering our Youth for a Brighter Future.”

“We’re all about community and in community there’s no color; there’s people,” Scott said. “Seeing that everybody is out, it doesn’t matter what color you are, what race or what age you are, everybody is out enjoying themselves and that’s what it’s all about.”

“We’re here to spread love,” Williams added.

The festival featured a wide range of activities designed to engage and inspire attendees of all ages, including live performances:, a DIY Carnival, art exhibits, educational workshops, vendor booths, a parade, the crowning of the Niles Juneteenth King and Queen, Black-Owned Business Recognition and DJ Kid Mix from WSMK Smokin 99.1.

The event is funded entirely through donations and volunteer efforts. While the Niles Juneteenth Festival is not a non-profit organization, all proceeds are reinvested into the event to ensure it remains a memorable and impactful celebration for the community.

“It’s always great to bring people together,” said Niles Mayor Nick Shelton, who was presented with a certificate of appreciation during the event. “We’re commemorating the emancipation of slavery and it’s great to see people out here celebrating and it’s good to have the community together. It’s great.”