Skyway public responds positively to Juneteenth event

Angus Nordlund, Staff Writer

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On Saturday, June 15th, at Campbell Hill Elementary, an event celebrating Black history and culture was held. The event is called Juneteenth, and if its name sounds familiar, then you might have heard it somewhere before. Juneteenth events have previously been held in other areas of Renton, but this one was the first of its kind to be held in the Skyway area.

The event provided an assorted amount of activities for attendees to participate in, such as inflatables, face paint, balloon animals or swords, and an area for people to perform, whether it be in the form of song or dance. There was also free food, including chicken, beans, corn and even a snow cone machine. A garden area for kids to do art projects was also provided. In short, there was something for everyone to do, no matter what their interests may be.

One of the main attractions of the event was the inclusion of the Buffalo Soldiers, a group that goes around to teach people about the Buffalo Soldiers, a group of Black army men who fought for the United States during the Indian Wars, following the great Civil War (more info: https://www.history.com/topics/westward-expansion/buffalo-soldiers). With their horses and uniforms, they stole the show.

As for attendance, there was a good turnout of Skyway and Renton citizens in general. The total attendees measured out to 217 community members, most of which were youth.

After some time spent interviewing attendees, it was clear that the event had been quite successful in accomplishing what it set out to do: bringing the community together for a fun and informative experience.

Many were quick to point out just how much it can bring a community together, and how that is important for a growing and developing community like Skyway. All of the interviewed attendees also said they would come back to this event in a heartbeat, should it be held next year.

However, there were a few who had some criticism of the event, saying it could have been advertised or announced better, as they had to dig deep to find out about the event at all. This was minor in the larger scope of things, as some even went as far as to say they were impressed by the event’s success, since it was the first of its kind in the area.

Whether the event was perfect or not doesn’t matter, what matters is that the event managed to bring a community together, giving them the chance to connect and interact with others they may not have had the chance to do so with prior to this event. Though this event was the first of its kind, if this many people have fallen in love with it and believe that it can impact the community in a positive way, it sure won’t be the last.