Twin Cities events celebrating Juneteenth

All over the Twin Cities this weekend, events are going on in celebration of Juneteenth, the federal holiday on June 19 that commemorates the emancipation of the last enslaved Africans in America.

Juneteenth has been around since 1866, but in 2021 it was made a federal holiday, and now people have a new energy to their celebrations. Many kicked things off with a parade down Fremont Avenue in Minneapolis; an event to boost unity in the community with dozens of organizations and groups on display.

"With all the stuff we’ve been going through, it’s a positive aspect, something we need back in North Minneapolis," Terrance Frelix told FOX 9.

A lot of the fun on Saturday was centered around Bethune Park, where the crowd honored its history, while looking ahead optimistically to what is to come.

"This is really the time that black folks can actually celebrate our freedom," Jasmine D’avilar said. "And just celebrate Black joy and Black businesses and just celebrate the culture that we have here."

Nearby in North Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota hosted an inaugural Juneteenth celebration. The event was centered around "blackness and the black experience," with Black vendors, speakers and performers.

"I think there’s always a need to celebrate black culture and black people," D’avilar continued. 

As she bounced between different gatherings in town, she said she hopes to see all of it grow in future years, "We do need more days like this, we need more opportunities, we need more than just one month to celebrate our history because black history is American history," D’avilar finished.