Coronavirus safety precautions a priority at Huntsville Juneteenth events

Organizers of a Juneteenth picnic Friday say the recent spike in cases caused them to make safety accommodations to their event

Posted: Jun 19, 2020 9:57 PM
Updated: Jun 19, 2020 10:46 PM

Gatherings to celebrate Juneteenth, the emancipation of those who were enslaved in the United States, was a bit different this year.

That's because organizers and attendees had to think about coronavirus safety precautions for guests.

And, all this on the day officials put Huntsville and Madison County on a 'Coronavirus Watchlist' as cases continue to spike.

Jalen Porterfield and Ethan Augustav were two of the organizers of Friday's Juneteenth picnic in Brahan Springs Park. They wanted to be able to throw an event, but in a safe way

Porterfield and Augustuv said the reason they held the picnic in a more open area of the park is because the amount of space.

They wanted everyone to have plenty of room to remain a safe distance from each other. The organizers also wore masks and gloves as well and had hand sanitizer out. They said wanted the picnic to be a fun but safe environment tonight.

"We got all these tables and stuff you know so everybody can just have a lot of space, and we don't really have to be crowded around each other," Porterfield said.

"Coronavirus has spiked, but at the same time we're making sure we're taking precautionary measures as far as serving with gloves, wearing masks, 'Augustuv said. 'Making sure that everyone has sanitized, and make sure when we give the food it doesn't have germs on it, wipe down all the tables so everyone feels kind of safe."

People who attended and helped plan the event said placing safety as a priority when planning large gatherings is key to helping people feel safe when going out.

"If everybody is taking precautions, making sure that they've got their gloves on, got their mask on, then I mean everything should be OK," Christopher Huff, one of the organizers said.

"I haven't been to anything that's like too many people. I feel like something like this that's no more than 50-60 people here so I feel more comfortable going to something like this versus going to something bigger," Kamahni Kinley, an organizer said.

Guests also played games out and took into account distancing by only playing where people could remain 6 feet apart the whole time.

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