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The Juneteenth South Broward Parade in Hollywood is a celebration of freedom and community.

The Juneteenth South Broward Parade in Hollywood is a celebration of freedom and community.
The Juneteenth South Broward Parade in Hollywood is a celebration of freedom and community.


FORT LAUDERDALE – Hundreds of people will march through the streets of Hollywood for the annual Juneteenth South Broward parade Wednesday morning.

At Juneteenth Parade in South Broward, expect music, dancing and a great fanfare. Georgette Lasley, founder of Juneteenth South Broward, said she developed the celebration after discovering a need in her community. At the time, she owned a small cafe in Liberia. She explained that one year, when she greeted customers on June 16, she was surprised by their reaction.

“Everyone arrived on the 19th and I was like, 'Happy Juneteenth!' Everyone looked at me like a girl, what are you talking about? No one knew at that time what Juneteenth was. I'm like, you don't know what Juneteenth is? We're predominantly in an African-American community, and you don't know what Juneteenth is. That’s what gave me the green light, or the green light, to say you know what I’m going to start an organization,” Lasley said.

Realizing his vision faced obstacles. Initially, it was refused by several municipalities.

“So knowing that I experienced this firsthand is something. That's why celebrating freedom, celebrating that I am who I am means a lot to me. Celebrating Juneteenth our freedom is something everyone should get involved in. It doesn't matter what color you are. You know, our freedom matters, everyone’s freedom matters,” Lasley said.

She began attending Hollywood town meetings and advocated for the event. Hollywood city leaders said yes.

“They were the only ones who opened the door for me,” Lasley said.

This is how the Juneteenth Parade in South Broward was born.

“Every year, Georgette, you persist, you push that pebble, until it's a stone, then it becomes a rock, and then it becomes a rock, until it becomes a mountain of support for ensuring that we can fight against discriminatory behavior, laws and oppression, that's what we were able to do once and for all on this national holiday,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said at the celebration. from last year.

“We started with one to two hundred people throughout the first five years until my seventh year when the numbers increased, and it was so phenomenal. I was so surprised by all the people on board from the road, they were literally waiting for us with lawn chairs, and I mean families coming out of their homes and it was amazing to me, I'm so grateful, very grateful,” Lasley said.

Now, eight years later, hundreds of people march through the streets of Hollywood in the annual celebration of freedom and the end of slavery in the United States.

The parade will begin at 10 a.m. at 5199 Pembroke Road. It then heads west on N 56th Avenue. At Washington Street, it turns onto South 52nd Avenue, then returns to its starting point.

Lasley said his goal is to make the Juneteenth South Broward Parade one of the most anticipated community events in the area. This year's event will also feature free community health screenings, food trucks and barbecues.




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