May 6, 2009
Area residents this weekend will have a chance to celebrate a more than 150-year Columbus tradition in the city''s Sandfield neighborhood.
The 153rd Eighth of May Emancipation Day celebration will be held Friday and Saturday near the intersection of 24th Street and Fourth Avenue South, and will feature everything from inflatable games for kids to a slew of musical performances.
The event will be held to commemorate May 8, 1865, the day federal troops rode into Columbus to announce the abolishment of slavery. A year after the announcement, Columbus residents celebrated the city''s first Eighth of May celebration.
"It''s just a good event for the community because of the meaning it has to the city''s past," said event organizer Jerome Stephenson, president of the Sandfield Horizon Committee. "We''d like to have everyone come out and have a good time."
The event will begin Friday at 7 p.m. and will feature a step show and a disc jockey. The event will resume at 10 a.m. Saturday with several gospel bands, including Redemption, the Blessed Brothers and the Gospel Southern Stars.
"The event will just begin at about 7 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday and run until everyone leaves," said Stephenson. "We had several hundred people come last year, and we are expecting about 1,000 to show up this year.
"We will have music, step shows and even inflatable games for children," Stephenson added. "There will be something for the whole family."
Admission to the event is free, and everyone is encouraged to attend, Stephenson explained.
"It''s always a good time every year, and I''d love to see everyone come out," Stephenson said.