About 157 years ago slaves in America were freed. Flash forward to modern day, hundreds of people gathered at Campus Park by City Hall to celebrate.

The Juneteenth celebration, hosted by the City of Rio Rancho and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Friday, was unfortunately short-lived as it started to get stormy with extreme gusts of wind and heavy rain. 

However, officials were able to get a few speeches in before the weather became too intense. There was also a short period where a local band played some blues and soul music.

City Councilor Karissa Culbreath and Mayor Greggory Hull tried to continue the celebration in spite of the weather. Cheers could be heard throughout Culbreath’s speech.

In addition to Culbreath’s speech, Hull made it clear that he and the City of Rio Rancho support the celebration.

“We are happy to be out here celebrating with our community,” he said.

NAACP President, Cate Stetson, did not appear on stage, but did have plenty to say about the true meaning of Juneteenth.

The job isn’t done. I mean generally, New Mexico is better to the minority communities than a lot of other states but it is not good enough yet. That is what Juneteenth is: a call to action,” she said. 

Even though people’s spirits were not dampened by the rain, the celebration did have to stop to avoid weather problems.