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State College NAACP celebrates Juneteenth with a downtown block party

State College Juneteenth music
Maddie Miller
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Musicians performing live at the Juneteenth block party in downtown State College on June 18, 2022.
eleanna cerda
Maddie Miller
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Eleanna Cerda with her display at the block party. She said she enjoys photographing nature and bright flowers.
candace lyons
Maddie Miller
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Candace Lyons displayed her custom, handmade wigs at her table. She shared the table with her daughter Cierra who owns the fashion boutique GoCandyShop on East Beaver Ave.

Over the weekend, the State College NAACP hosted events for Juneteenth, which included a block party on Saturday in downtown State College. Hundreds attended the party to enjoy live music and check out food, clothing, books and other merchandise from local vendors.

One of the vendors was Eleanna Cerda who sells nature-focused photography prints. Cerda is Afro-Dominican. She said the event’s efforts to amplify Black voices stuck out to her.

“I liked that they were showcasing Black vendors specifically, so I thought it was like a perfect opportunity. This is actually my first table event, so I’m really excited,” Cerda said.

Another vendor was Candace Lyons, who set up a table displaying handmade wigs from her store Virgin Sweet Hair. She said she is happy to see the community supporting Black vendors like herself.

“We need more of these things, but I’m excited that we’re here to represent ourselves and the community as well,” Lyons said.

State College Mayor Ezra Nanes also attended the event to officially proclaim June 19, 2022 as “Juneteenth Freedom Day.”