Stratford holds Juneteenth celebration at town hall

The Stratford community celebrated Juneteenth today ahead of the holiday Sunday, which marked the end of slavery in the United States.
The federal holiday is celebrated annually on June 19, in honor of the day in 1865, which marks the day slaves in Texas were freed two-years after the Emancipation Proclamation.  
The ceremony was held on the steps at town hall and included a flag raising.
The event also featured remarks by Jeffrey Fletcher, founder of the Stratford African American History Museum, as well as Deborah Caviness, of the Southern Connecticut Black Chamber of Commerce. 
Juneteenth co-founder Cynthia Griffin and Dr. William B. Sutton, III, pastor of First Baptist Church of Stratford, also spoke. 
Gov. Ned Lamont signed a bill that would make Juneteenth a legal holiday in Connecticut too.
Dr. Camelia Lawrence is the grand marshal of this year's Fairfield County Juneteenth parade.
She says her efforts to raise awareness for the holiday in Connecticut go far beyond today.
Lawrence says the Juneteenth of Fairfield County non-profit has been around for 30 years.
"The goal of the organization is to really support and embrace a vibrant African American community from an economic standpoint as well," Lawrence says.