The Juneteenth Celebration on June 16 was eventful with the celebration starting off with a strong bout of winds that mangled some vendors tents.

None the less, the remembrance of the emancipation of slaves in the U.S. commenced.

“Unfortunately we had that microburst come over, but I want to say thank you to everybody. They stuck it out and stayed here because we came to celebrate despite the weather,” Mayor Gregg Hull said.

Several vendors had to break down the tent frames after they had been bent so bad they couldn’t collapse.

Following a singing of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which is known as the Black national anthem, by Diana Bethany of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Rio Rancho and a history lesson on Juneteenth/Freedom Day from historian and former educator Barbara Bodison, Hull presented Bodison with a proclamation acknowledging the holiday in Rio Rancho.

“Several businesses and cities still do not recognize Juneteenth as a formal holiday,” Bodison said.

She was grateful that Rio Rancho, unlike other cities and states, recognizes it as a holiday.

Juneteenth is a celebration of the complete emancipation of slaves in Texas almost two years after President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation.

“Broader awareness of Juneteenth has come hand in hand with the national reckoning with the uncomfortable truth that racism, violence and economic disparity persist as a present-day reality for many black Americans,” Bodison added.