By Raetta Holdman

DENVER (CBS4) – The Juneteenth Music Festival returns to Denver’s streets for an in-person celebration of its 10th year. This festival is one of the largest in the country, and this year brings a new reason to celebrate after the city declared it an official holiday.

The live events kick off on June 18 with The Juneteenth R&B double Platinum recording artists 112. The band will play the Levitt Pavilion at Ruby Hill Park. It promises to be a family-friendly event with plenty of room for lounging, picnicking and dancing.

(credit: CBS)

Food trucks will roll up and cocktails and beverages will also be available. The party starts at 5:30 p.m. and promises to stretch into the evening.

The party moves back to the historic Five Points neighborhood for Saturday and Sunday, June 19 and 20.

It starts with a parade on Saturday that steps off at 11 a.m. as performers and community organizers take over 26th Street. Nearly 3,000 people are expected to march to honor the struggles and progress achieved through marches and demonstrations throughout our country’s history.

You’ll find 10 blocks of artisan merchants, food vendors and interactive activities surrounded by performance stages at the Street Festival at Welton Plaza. You’ll find all that action between noon and 8 p.m. on Saturday, and 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. on the Sunday.

Denver’s Juneteenth Festival in 2015. (credit: CBS)

The Charles Cousins Plaza will be the place for Denver Black Pride celebrations. With a title of “To the Beat of the Drum” DJs and live musicians to celebrate the sounds of the diaspora. The plaza at 24th and Welton is named after the late Denverite, Charles Cousins. Cousins was an entrepreneur and real estate mogul who led the charge for affordable housing for Denver’s Black community. He died in 2009 at the age of 91.

Just blocks away is Historic Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, a cultural epicenter for the arts in the city for more than 50 years. Head to 119 Park Avenue West for educational panels and round tables as well as the Juneteenth Museum to learn about seven decades of the iconic celebration in Five Points.

Denver’s Juneteenth Festival in 2015. (credit: CBS)

You can find out more about all the activities online.

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Even though the Emancipation Proclamation became official on January 1, 1863, it had little effect in Texas because of the small number of Union troops. On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger landed at Galveston with Union soldiers with the news the war had ended two years previously and slaves were free. It followed General Lee’s surrender in April of 1865.

Raetta Holdman