The Springfield Juneteenth Parade had been planned for weeks, but the U.S., state and city governments making it an official holiday did make it a bit more special.
A number of groups and local politicians marched up Martin Luther King Jr. Drive from South Grand Avenue to Comer Cox Park on Saturday, June 19. The parade, which included a festival at the park, was just one of several events through out the weekend. There was also the Noir Art Exhibit at the Illinois State Museum and the Free-ish Rally near the state capitol on Friday and Fitness in the park and an outdoor revival at Comer Cox Park on Sunday.
Juneteenth commemorates the day on June 19, 1865, when slaves in Galveston, Texas, finally heard of the Emancipation Proclamation two years earlier. It is considered the day that slavery ended in the U.S.
The marchers came out despite early morning storms and intermittent rain through out the morning. There were at least 300 people attending the celebration at the park.
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