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Noxubee County Relay for Life May 29, 2009

One day, One night, One community!

Relay For Life is a fun-filled overnight event designed to bring together those who have been touched by cancer in our community. At the event, we celebrate survivorship and raise money for research and programs of the American Cancer Society. During the event, teams of people gather at Noxubee High School and take turns walking or running laps. Each team tries to keep at least one team member on the track at all times. The power of Relay allows a community to grieve for those lost to cancer and to celebrate those who have survived. Everybody is encouraged to participate in this event and help in the fight against cancer.

The 2009 edition of the Noxubee County's Relay for Life will be held at the Noxubee High School grounds on Friday, May 29, 2009, begginning at 7:00 p. m. Businesses, clubs, churches, schools, service organizations, families and friends are encouraged to form teams and participate in this community gathering. For information about forming a team, please contact Mrs. Coleen Stottlemire (662-726-2603) or Mrs. Shirley Battle (662-726-5884), co-chairs of the Team Development Committee.

You can be involved in the fight against cancer as a survivor, team member, sponsor, entertainer for that night, or as a volunteer.

For information about Relay for Life, please contact

Crayton Coleman at 662-726-5723 or

Rebecca Anderson at 662-435-1142.

8th Annual Juneteenth Festival Saturday, June 13, 2009

This annual event is held the second Saturday of June to commemorate the ending of slavery in the United States. The festival takes place at the Macon Cedar Creek Park beginning at 10:00AM with the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation.

The festival features entertainment for the entire family, including local talent and renown entertainers, hula hoop, jump rope and other competitions; kid's games; sports demonstrations; arts and crafts; and a wide variety of food.The festival is coordinated by the Noxubee County Juneteenth Organization. Among the missions of the organization is the awarding of scholarships to deserving high school students, as well as the implementation of job training and self-improvement programs.

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery. Dating back to 1865, it was June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. This was two-and-a-half years after President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new executive order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865 and the arrival of General Granger's regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.

Later, attempts to explain this two-and-a-half year delay in the receipt of this important news have yielded several versions that have been handed down through the years. Often told is the story of a messenger who was murdered on his way to Texas with the news of freedom. Another, is that the news was deliberately withheld by the enslavers to maintain the labor force on the plantations. And still another, is that federal troops actually waited for the slave owners to reap the benefits of one last cotton harvest before going to Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. All or none of them could be true. For whatever the reason, conditions in Texas remained status quo well beyond what was statutory.

General Order Number 3

One of General Granger's first orders of business was to read to the people of Texas General Order Number Three, which began most significantly with:

"The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States," all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer."

The reactions to this profound news ranged from pure shock to immediate jubilation. While many lingered to learn of this new employer to employee relationship, many left before these offers were completely off the lips of their former 'masters' - attesting to the varying conditions on the plantations and the realization of freedom. Even with nowhere to go, many felt that leaving the plantation would be their first grasp of freedom. North was a logical destination and for many it represented true freedom, while the desire to reach family members in neighboring states drove some into Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Settling into these new areas as free men and women brought on new realities and the challenges of establishing a heretofore non-existent status for black people in America.

Recounting the memories of that great day in June 1865 and its festivities would serve as motivation as well as a release from the growing pressures encountered in their new territory. The celebration of June 19th was coined "Juneteenth" and grew with more participation from descendants. The Juneteenth celebration was a time for reassuring each other, for praying and for gathering, remaining family members. Juneteenth continued to be highly revered in Texas decades later, with many former slaves and descendants making an annual pilgrimage to Galveston on this date.

For information or vendor applications for the 7th Annual Juneteenth Festival, please contact any of the following Noxubee County Juneteenth Organization directors:

Lucille Hatcher at (662) 726-5475 or Edna Russ at (662) 738-5704 or Richard Brooks at (662) 726-4751

23st Annual Dancing Rabbit Festival Saturday, October 24, 2009

This annual event is held to celebrate Noxubee County's heritage. Festivities include arts/crafts sales, talent contest, sports demonstrations, children's costume contest, storytelling, pony rides, petting zoe, inflatable games, train ride and other fun activities for small children. The highlight of the festival is an eight-hour concert at the courthouse lawn with the participation of renown gospel and blues singers/groups. The festival offers a fun-filled day for the whole family.

The fun-filled festival is named for the 1830 Treaty at Dancing Rabbit Creek signed in the area between the Choctaw tribe and the U. S. Government, through which the Choctaw ceded their lands in Mississippi for land in what is now Oklahoma.

For information please contact the Noxubee County Chamber of Commerce at

(662) 726-4456 or 1-(800) 487-0165






  • 2007 Dancing Rabbit Festival - October 27, 2007