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May 28th Festival

Updated on November 25, 2012

May Day Celebration

Why we celebrate May 28th is no mystery when it comes to the residents of the Battle Community. This celebration has been going on since May 28th 1865. The Battle Community got it's name from the man who owned the area and the slaves, Battle.

In the mist of the Civil War on January 1st 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves from slave owners. Freedom for the south's slaves came at the end of the war, April 1865. The slaves of the Battle Community had no knowledge of this signing to free all slaves because they weren't told. When the slaves did hear word of this freedom, it wasn't until May 28th 1865. The slaves began to sound the drums so the slaves in the surrounding areas would come to see why the drums were sounding as this was their way of communication. What a joyous occasion! The began singing, dancing, cooking and celebrating their freedom.

Unofficial holiday as it may be but since that time, the 28th day of May has been established a community holiday to commemorate the day that freedom came and became an annual event. It is celebrated with church meetings, all kinds of food and the return of family members who migrated north. During this annual event, there are such activities as drum beating, cultural dancing, parades, and vendors.

This site was recorded with the Alabama Historical Association in 1998.

Pop Up Sites

There are pop up sites every where you look. None of them are authentic, don't be fooled if you decide to visit. It all started in the Battle Community. I've visited some of the other fake sites and I asked the question to many who were there, "why do you celebrate May 28th"? I got dozens of answers but none were close to the real reason why that day is celebrated.

Historical Site

Battle and Antioc Communities Russell County, Alabama
Battle and Antioc Communities Russell County, Alabama

The Real May Day Site

The celebration of the historical site is located in Hurtsboro, Alabama, in the Shady Grove Park inside the Battle Community, that's Russell County. The event is 3 days long, starting May 27, 28, and 29th. Usually there is a parade on the 29th, starting at Dix Grocery - The cross road highways of 4 and 49 continuing south on 49 to shady Grove Park.

The contact person is: Mrs. Bennie Johnson (334) 667-7807

Vendors are welcome: 3 days @ 50.00 - spaces are 10 X 10 - vendor setup starts @ 4:00pm CST on May 27th - No parking on the roads, shut down time is 12:00 am, food permits are available on site.

Read About Slavery In The USA


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