Last week a dear friend of mine reached out to me for inspiration.
“What does Juneteenth mean to you?”
For me the answer was simple. It’s about freedom and humanity.
Last year, after the federal holiday announcement, I attended a festive Juneteenth celebration at a local park.
We enjoyed great music, kids, food and even a little double-dutch.
It was the first time I had fully celebrated my freedom.

Memories of Celebration
The first time I’d celebrated Pride was with my dear friend Jorge. There was this absolute feeling of weightlessness and alacrity when we gathered.
Since this first experience, over 10 years ago, we’ve planned pride events and even walked in the Tampa parade.
It’s always a celebration of love.

The Fourth of July has traditionally been a collective celebration of our country’s freedom. As a young teen I ventured off to the Panama City marina to watch the fireworks with my best friend Shanna.
We then walked home and stood in my front yard yelling “honk if you love America” to all the traffic exiting our neighborhood.
It was my first time celebrating America in such a way. We were the stuff of a modern-day Rockwell painting.
The feeling was joyful.
The freedom to observe these holidays is the best part of all of us.
So fire up the grill and let the kids run free.
These days are made for you and me.


Chalette M. Davis
Events & Missions
The Portico
O: 813.222.2299 | M: 813.951.6974
1001 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, FL 33602
Conversation. Connection. Community Change.

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