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Juneteenth Festival to feature Saturday parade

The 44th annual Juneteenth Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday in Martin Luther King Jr. Park, with vendors, dancing, Underground Railroad tours and stages featuring arts and cultural offerings, entertainment and education. A parade begins at 11 a.m. Saturday near Moselle Street, and proceeds down Genesee Street to Martin Luther King Jr Park.

The Juneteenth Festival’s mission “is to actively preserve and promote the broad spectrum of African American heritage through educational and cultural activities that will benefit the community as a whole.”

The festival also will feature a science fair, children’s activities and lots of food. There will also be a praise and worship service from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday in the park.

Juneteenth is the oldest known observance of the ending of slavery in the United States, according to festival organizers. The celebration began on June 19, 1865, the day Major General Gordon Granger of the Union Army rode into Galveston, Texas, in final execution of the Emancipation Proclamation – two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed it. Juneteenth celebrations across the country commemorate that day.

For more information, visit juneteenthofbuffalo.com.

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