Frankfort kicks off Juneteenth festivities with 5K

Frankfort kicks off Juneteenth festivities with 5K
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 10:54 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Frankfort kicked off its first-ever official Juneteenth celebration Friday evening.

“A Race for Race Relations” was held at Lakeview Park, providing both an athletic outlet and a learning experience to participants.

“Race is an issue most people don’t like to talk about, but we got to be open, we got to be honest,” said Ed Powe, the president of Focus on Race Relations.

For Powe, the race was the perfect way to get Frankfort’s first Juneteenth celebration off to a flying start.

“It’s a race we’re all running in, whether we like or not. We’re all involved in a race for race relations,” Powe said.

He says warm weather led them to shorten the length of the race, but it didn’t limit its significance.

Powe said Friday’s race also serves as an important education event, with signs lining the race course to help people learn about Black history in Kentucky and in Franklin County.

“I’m very, very thankful that we have the opportunity to give some more history about multiple cultures here in the great state of Kentucky,” race participant Kemba Cofield said.

Runners like Cofield read about significant Black figures of the past and present, and got a comprehensive view of Kentucky’s Black history.

“You’re remembering those that sacrificed their lives for us and remembering the contributions they had,” Cofield said.

Cofield said she’s pleased to take part in something that’s promoting a healthy lifestyle and provoking important conversations.

“That is community. That is a reality of what community is,” Cofield said.

Powe said events will carry on throughout the weekend, including forums that will explore the meaning of Juneteenth and other race-related issues.

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