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Miss Juneteenth pageant held to celebrate the holiday

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington's Miss Juneteenth 2011 has been crowned.

Juneteenth is celebrated by many as the official end to slavery, although it happened more than two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas and spread the news that slaves had been freed.

Miss Juneteenth 2010 has passed down her crown but said her year as Miss Juneteenth helped her grow as a person.

"It means a lot because when I first started, I had no idea what Juneteenth was,” Miss Juneteenth 2010 Saabirah Greene said. “So, coming up, I began to learn how important my role was, so it means a lot now."

"It's very exciting,” special guest Miss Castle Hayne 2009 Megan Nelson said. “Especially since it's celebrating the end of slavery. It's really cool to see all of us here, all together. It's wonderful."

Juneteenth is about celebrating African American education and achievements, and Miss Juneteenth is responsible for educating the community about the holiday.

Tune in to WWAY NewsChannel 3 Sunday at 11p.m. to find out who won the title of Miss Juneteenth 2011.

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