The Laurel City Council recognized the members of the Emancipation Day Planning Committee in a brief ceremony during the council’s Oct. 28 regular meeting.
Laurel’s Emancipation Day celebration, which recognizes the abolition of slavery in Maryland, has been held annually since at least 1910, and is one of the oldest annual city celebrations in the country, Mayor Craig Moe said.
This year’s celebration was held Sept. 7 in Emancipation Park and was attended by approximately 300 people, according to event organizers.
“They did an outstanding job. It was well-coordinated, and the parade was excellent. People were there throughout the day, and the food was great,” said Moe.
Moe and Council President Frederick Smalls presented awards to committee members Chantel Ashley, Tanya Johnson, Tiara Matthews, Vaune Williams, Bria Wilson, Nicole Nicholson, Danielle Gibson, Tenaya Gibson, Jim Cross, City of Laurel Office Manager Kay Harrison, and Lt. John Hamilton and Capt. Pat Bray of the Laurel Police Department,
“It was kind of stressful, because all of us are under the age of 30,” Johnson said. “We’re not used to taking something so big and running with it. But it turned out great, better than we ever could have imagined. We are so looking forward to next year, and many, many years after that.”