(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Juneteenth, a time meant to mark the end of all slavery in the United States, has gained notoriety following protests last year calling for racial change. Now, a traditional celebration is made official.
This year marks a new chapter for the occasion, as it’s now considered a federal holiday.
For LaTonya Williams, the woman behind Juneteenth celebrations in St. Joseph said it’s an opportunity to get more people involved and educated about the day, and what it means.
"I think that it is a good opportunity to get more education, network and just to relax and have a good time." She said.
"Everyone’s welcome and that’s a point that I want everyone to know, it’s not only a black holiday."
Williams hopes the more people discover the importance of Juneteenth, the more people get involved making sure the celebration sticks around.
"It’s not only about me, it’s about everybody in the community and I want everyone to be able to take part in this event." Williams said.
Williams has organized Juneteenth celebrations in St. Joe for the past few years, and is looking for more support to help keep it going.
The celebration kicks off with a baby show from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m., and continues tomorrow from t10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The mayor will be on hand around noon for a special proclamation.