Missouri City residents packed a local park for the second annual Freedom Walk, a community walk from Community Park to the nearby Freedom Tree Park. The event was the culmination of the city’s Black History Month celebrations.

The weather was perfect for the event, which brought out hundreds of residents. Last year’s inaugural walk was hampered by inclement weather.

Led by the Houston-based Drumatix drum ensemble, members of City Council, and other elected officials, the procession of people of all ages, races and ethnicities took part in the march

The march ended at Freedom Tree Park, which will soon undergo a massive renovation and expansion. There, Mayor Robin Elackatt and At-Large Position 2 Councilwoman Lynn Clouser kicked off a program that featured young members of the Missouri City-Sugar Land chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., an organization that works to improve the quality of life of children, particularly those of African-American descent. There was also a performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” performed by Leona Daniels, along with a griot/poet, dancers from Nia’s Daughters dance ensemble and a brief keynote speech from Katherine Thomas, 30, the newly elected judge of the 184th District Court of Harris County, the youngest elected judge in that county’s history

Other speakers included State Rep. Ron Reynolds, Tyra Jones-McCollum, president of the local Jack and Jill chapter and a Fort Bend County judge, and Charity Carter, co-leader of Edison Arts Foundation, which was the main presenter of the city’s Black History Month activities.

After the speeches, the participants made their way back to Community Park for several performances by local schoolchildren and supporting of Black businesses with local food trucks.