People fill the streets for the Annual Juneteenth Celebration

District 1 City Council Member Ora Houston waves to spectators

District 1 City Council Member Ora Houston waves to spectators

On June 19,1865, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas and told the last slaves that they were free.

This year's festival took place at City Park, with music, food, vendors, and speeches from dignitaries. It wasn't until General Granger proclaimed it in Galveston on June 19, 1865 that Texas got the news.

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration to commemorate the ending of slavery in the United States.

In the 20th Century recognition of Juneteenth declined, only to find a resurgence during the Civil Rights Movement.

Juneteenth is a testimony of how an imperfect nation bore the pain of death and division so that the right of liberty might expand its reach.

Numerous fans of the holiday who showed up for the parade said this year, more than ever, it is important to celebrate freedom.

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The event will also include a presentation of the Texas Emancipation Proclamation by the 2nd Infantry Regiment, United States Colored Troops Living History Association. "Something that makes unseen things manifest and allows him to come to his hopes and dreams through his outer eye and through the touch and feel of his natural hand". We must strive every day to honor a telling phrase in the preamble of the U.S. Constitution; we must strive to form 'a more ideal union.' By treating each individual with dignity, each community with respect, we can come closer to achieving that goal.

A group of local kids came together Saturday to have fun while learning about African-American history and heritage.

"It's another day to celebrate our freedom as a country", Wright said.

"I think everyone should know when, why, and where their freedom was decided and what was decided about their freedom", said Keith Rodgers, founder and CEO of Black on Black Rhyme.

The teen said if slavery still existed in America, there would be chaos.

"That kind of shocked me", Holloway said.

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