Juneteenth celebration held in St. Louis Park

Monday is Juneteenth -- a holiday to commemorate the emancipation of the final enslaved African Americans -- and this weekend people came together in St. Louis Park to start celebrating early.

For St. Louis Park Race, Equity & Inclusion director Radius Guess, the goal of Sunday’s event was simple: to build a sense of community, and educate on critical issues some feel are overlooked in the classroom.

"This day is critical, it’s crucial, it communicates to us what freedom looks like," Guess said. "For me, this is my Fourth of July, this is my Independence Day. This is the day that I get to celebrate and cheer and share my culture."

(FOX 9)

2023 is also the first year Juneteenth will be recognized as both a federal and Minnesota state holiday. But many still feel there’s more progress that can be made; and they have a plan.

"We can vote, we can get out, we can politic about it. We can have discussions and community dialogue and we can have celebrations like this that bring communities together to show that we are all one and the same," Debonaire McNeal finished.