SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The annual Juneteenth Celebration in Springfield had a different look and feel this year.
The parade normally takes place at Comer Cox Park on the city’s east side, but this year that park was used a starting point, and the parade ended on the steps of the capitol.
Those who marched in the parade and those who watched acknowledged that the celebration felt different this time around. Organizers noted the diverse crowd, which they said is rare since the event normally takes place on the city’s east side.
The march continued the calls for action both locally and at a state level. There was even a booth set up to sign people up to vote in front of the Martin Luther King Jr. Statue.
Elected officials, such as Aldermen Doris Turner and Shawn Gregory, Mayor Jim Langfelder, and State Representative Jim Langfelder were in attendance. Congressional Candidate Betsy Dirksen-Londrigan spoke to the crowd, too.
Langfelder called for Juneteenth to become a city holiday. The idea is picking up steam at all levels of government, with House Majority Leader Greg Harris calling for it to become a State Holiday earlier this week.