SALINAS, Calif. (KION) Juneteenth celebrations got underway in Salinas on Saturday at the Sports Complex after President Joe Biden made the day a federal holiday this week.
There was plenty of music, food and different vendors out at the Rodeogrounds that afternoon. The event was held for three hours and was open for everyone free of charge. Many in the black community took this day to remember what they have been through and what still needs to be done.
"This day is a wonderful day, first and foremost, for a nation to acknowledge the atrocities and events that took place with Black people," said Steve Lattimore, the pastor of Progressive Baptist Church in Santa Cruz. "To celebrate in this manner, on the heels of this becoming a federal holiday, I think it's something that should be celebrated."
Juneteenth celebrates the emancipation of black slaves close to the end of the American Civil War in 1865. Congress passed the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution, abolishing slavery across the land that year.