Community celebrates Juneteenth at Roger Williams Park

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)- Year after year, a crowd gathers together at Roger Williams Park for an annual Juneteenth celebration. Those who attended the 2021 event, told ABC6 this year just felt a little different now that Juneteenth is a federal holiday.

Thousands came together at Roger Williams Park in celebration of Juneteenth on Saturday.

Families sat on the grass, lawn chairs, and blankets, to enjoy the sunny day and watch live performances. Vendors with food and other merchandise came together to share their products with those in attendance.

“I’m here to celebrate Juneteenth, and to show my children what it is, about their community and their culture, and come together as people,” Providence resident Thomas Edwards told ABC6.

Juneteenth, now an official U.S. holiday, marks the end of slavery in the United States.

“I was not taught in school about you know, this day. I love the fact that now it’s a holiday, you know,” said Kenelly Cineus.

Rhode Islanders young and old celebrated at the Temple to Music, where the Juneteenth event is held each year.

Gatherers said this year, the crowd was much larger.

“I want more people to come out, more vendors to come out, so we can show the support for everybody,” said Edwards.

President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act earlier this week, declaring the day the country’s 11th official national holiday.

“This is what’s necessary- community, right? I think this is a great example of what this day should be about,” Cineus explained.

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