Across the nation, people are celebrating Juneteenth to honor the day the last slaves were finally freed on June 19, 1865.
Just days ahead of this year’s Juneteenth celebrations, President Joe Biden signed into law making the day a federal holiday.
“This just gives a lot of hope. It gives people a lot more morale and motivation to keep pushing and that’s one of the reasons why we’re doing our event today,” Perry Sinclair said.
Sinclair is the President of the African American Heritage Council, a private, non-profit that creates lines of mentorship and cultural awareness through education and events.
Saturday marked the third Juneteenth event the council has held.
“I am super excited. Very excited,” Sinclair said.
From vendors to free food and even games, people of all races and ages expressed nothing short of their excitement too.
A few even shared what the day meant to them personally.
“Just to enjoy life man, enjoy freedom, enjoy Juneteenth, enjoy the celebration of being free and to congregate with friends,” Minot Resident Allen Anderson said.
“We want to be out here celebrating and raising awareness, improving community relations, and all that good stuff,” Minot Resident Kimberly Ratliff said.
One vendor says it’s even a chance to shine a little light on those who feel behind the shadows
“Here this celebration will put a spotlight on black-owned businesses. So, I’m really excited to be here and showcase the things and talents that I have to bring to Minot,” Hollery Morris Photography Owner Hollery Morris said.
“We want to educate our public and tell people who we are while at the same time asking them who are you and what can we provide to you as well, so, that’s essentially the basis of this event,” Sinclair said.
An event and celebration Sinclair says will now live on for many years to come.
Minot’s Juneteenth celebration wrapped up earlier this evening, but Sinclair says he encourages people to attend next years celebration.
In addition to Juneteenth now being a federal holiday, North Dakota legislators passed a law this past session to recognize it as well.