SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – The city of Springfield resumed its annual Juneteenth celebration Saturday outside the Gammon House.
Springfield resident Ernest Brown says, “There’s an Independence Day that we recognize as African Americans that is June 19th when that final word came that all slaves were free.”
Hundreds of people braved early rains to gather across from Springfield’s newly renovated Gammon House to celebrate Juneteenth.
The Gammons and Bradleys were free Black families that helped operate the underground railroad through Clark County in the 1850s.
Dale Henry is the President of Gammon House, Inc. He says, “We feel as though a lot of Black history, African American history, which is actually American history, has been denied and neglected in the past.”
The house has been preserved and restored with a new fence, wheelchair-accessible ramp, and retainer walls. Henry says, “We’ve been restoring this house for the last 20 years, and finally got it to the place it is today. And we’re really proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish here.”
The celebration included several events. 110 runners signed up for the 5K “Run for Freedom”, though it was postponed due to early morning rain. Dozens of vendors and non-profit organizations also set up tables.
And this year Urban Light Ministries’ “Father Fest” was folded in to honor fathers in the community.
Organizers and attendees hope the event keeps growing each year.
Brown says, “It’s just a wonderful time, because community comes together from all various aspects of the community to celebrate this date, remember our history, and remember where we come from and where we need to go, too.”