Juniteenth Celebrations Underway in Pittsburgh – CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The June 18 celebrations began Friday at Point State Park, and the events will last eight days.

This year’s celebrations are bigger than ever with the Juneteenth now recognized as a federal holiday. Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery and is also a time to appreciate the history of African American culture.

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“There are many people. I didn’t expect it to be that big, so it’s really nice, ”said Artinese Malachi from Pittsburgh.

Friday marked the first day of the WPA Freedom Days Fest at Point State Park, which featured live music and food vendors. Also on Liberty Avenue, which is closed to traffic, the vendors line up.

State Representative Ed Gainey, the Democratic candidate for Pittsburgh mayor, said this year’s Juneteenth events look much bigger and bring people of all cultures together.

“We are more united than ever. And right now this is a demonstration. Juniteenth, it’s about the independence of all freedom, and building on it, bringing culture to the city, diversifying the city, shows that we are a city for everyone. So today is a great day and I’m proud to be here, ”said Rep. Gainey.

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The Freedom Days Festival lasts until June 20th. There will be African-American cultural mediation and speakers. This event gives people the opportunity to share their history and heritage.

“I’m just honored and happy that they made it a holiday. First it was a public holiday and now it’s a national holiday and I’m really excited about it, ”said Rick Squires, owner of Uncle Rick’s Smokehouse.

Every June 19 in Pittsburgh, the people of the city hope that the excitement of the June holidays will only increase.

“I expect it to get bigger every year because a lot of people are acknowledging and realizing what it is. I think a lot of people didn’t even really know what it was, ”said Malachi.

The Freedom Days Festival at Point State Park ends June 20th. The Black Music Festival at Point State Park takes place June 24-27. The Juneteenth Grand Jubilee Parade takes place downtown on June 26th.

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A full list of events can be found right here on our website at this link.

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