Middletown celebrates end of slavery in midst of stretch of intense heat

Organizers of Middletown's Juneteenth events paid special attention to keeping their vendors, guests and the DJ cool enough to go all day.

Ben Nandy

Jun 19, 2024, 10:06 PM

Updated 35 days ago

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Organizers of Middletown's Juneteenth events paid special attention to keeping their vendors, guests and the DJ cool enough to go all day.
To begin, they held their monthly Black Wall Street PopUp event at Sadie's Books and Beverages, where the air conditioning was blasting.
"It's pretty nice and cool in here. Thank God we're not outside," vendor Priacella Whatley said.
Whatley, who operates Hazel's Buddy Candle Store, said if the event were held outside Wednesday her candles would have been ruined.
The candles tend to melt. They tend to sweat or melt," she said. "The shade helps a lot when you're selling candles."
Next, guests walked the downtown streets hitting all the stops on the Black-owned business treasure trail for chances to win prizes.
Mary Oliver-Bell, equipped with a hat, water and a handheld fan said her personal cooling system was "kinda sorta" working.
News 12 also caught up with Rondale Pritchett – AKA DJ RP Beats – as he scouted the location for the outdoor afternoon party.
He has enough shade.
He is traveling light.
He loaded several tracks onto his Serato DJ software and left his records behind on account of records' worst enemy: prolonged exposure to extreme heat.
"You know, with heat and vinyl, it has the tendency to melt the vinyl," Pritchett said, "so this was a godsend because we can just bring this out with our laptop and connect."
Organizers said the heat did not seem to have a significant effect on attendance.
By midday, about 100 people had taken part in the Juneteenth events.
Juneteenth in Middletown wrapped up back in the air conditioning at the Paramount Theater, for a free screening of the film, "Origins."


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