Charleston parade celebrates Emancipation Proclamation

The start of the Emancipation Proclamation Parade in downtown Charleston

By Sonya

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- While some folks were enjoying the day off, other folks were celebrating Emancipation Proclamation Day.

"We are out here celebrating the signing of the proclamation on January 1, 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln. It was placed into law that all slaves would be freed in rebellious territories. So we are just out celebrating our day and our heritage," said Ethel Greene, President of the Emancipation Proclamation Association.

The Emancipation Proclamation Parade was started in 1946 by a group of ministers. Some people, like Joseph Singleton, come out year after year to watch the parade.

"I wanted to bring my grandson out to see the parade and tell him about how I was in the Burke band in this parade," Singleton said.

The Burke High School Marching Band was just one of the groups that was in attendance on Monday.

"It's a tradition and the kids look forward to it," said Linard McCloud, Burke High School's band director. "It's good for the community and good to see the mixture of people get together and just celebrate the Emancipation Proclamation. So, we'll do it as long as I'm the director and hopefully after that."

This is the 34th year the Burke band has participated.

The parade began at 11 a.m. at Burke High School and ended at Emanuel AME Church on Calhoun Street. It was followed by a service at St. Matthew Baptist Church.

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