DENVER (CBS4) – Thousands packed the streets of Denver’s Five Points neighborhood in celebration of the Juneteenth holiday. The weekend-long celebration commemorates the freeing of slaves in Texas 156 years ago. The slaves had been granted freedom two years prior, but word was not delivered.
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“I’m out here to celebrate my ancestors, and the history they went through. We want to keep the legacy going,” said Emmitt Brooks, an attendee of the parade.
The parade made its way through the city and was symbolic of the slaves flooding the streets after learning they had been freed. Coloradans of all races and backgrounds lined the roadways to celebrate Juneteenth.
“It’s great we get to share the history and learn from one another,” said Dana Williams, an attendee.
Food, music and dancing helped make the event a celebration. Blocks of Denver streets were closed off as thousands celebrated the newest federal holiday.
Many people brought their children to the parade as a way to celebrate and also preserve history.
“We have to start with our small children. We have to educate them about the significance of where they’ve been in order for them to be able to move forward and understand their history. And, to know exactly where the struggle came from,” Williams told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas.
“Just the significance of the holiday of itself, it really is a time for us to come together and unite. And, to come together around the history and significance of African Americans who were freed from slavery,” Williams said.
“It helps to see that people of different races and nationalities are kind of keeping some of these things moving forward,” said Herb Brown, an attendee.
The street festival continues on Sunday from 2-8 p.m.