Bloomingdale holds first Juneteenth event

Several speakers took the microphone to educate a small but appreciative crowd at the first Juneteenth celebration at Old Town Park in Bloomingdale Wednesday evening, marking the 149th anniversary of the the day all enslaved people were officially freed in the state of Texas. Juneteenth was designated a federal holiday in 2021.

“In response to Juneteenth,” explained speaker Michael Childress, the first Black member of the DuPage County Board in its 180-year history. “People gathered and wore their fanciest clothes.” Childress is also the president of the DuPage County Branch of the NAACP.

Childress went on to say that the first celebratory clothing was mostly red, white and blue, but it has since morphed to mostly red, black and green.

  Chantelle Porter, the first Black judge in DuPage County, speaks Wednesday at the first-ever Bloomingdale Juneteenth celebration in Old Town Park. On her left is Michael Childress, who also spoke at the event. John Starks/

Several other dignitaries spoke and the small audience of about 20 people fanned themselves throughout the 45-minute program.

“We’re fumbling our way through this tonight because we didn’t know what to expect, but I promise we will have a bigger and fun-filled event next year,” Childress said as he closed the event.

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