The 26th annual Juneteenth Freedom Festival will return Saturday to Tattnall Square Park.
Juneteenth signifies the end of the Civil War in 1865 as well as the final emancipation of the last slaves in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, according to PBS.
Although the Emancipation Proclamation was put out on January 1, 1863, the slaves in Galveston did not learn of their freedom until two and a half years later.
“It basically celebrates the ability to finally be a free person in the United States, so it’s a very special thing," said George Fadil Muhammad, co-presenter of the Juneteenth Freedom Festival. "It signifies the end of family being torn apart. It signifies the end of all types of humiliation."
There will be African food and art at the festival. The 54th Black Union Soldier Reenactors will be there, as well as musical acts from both Macon and Atlanta.
Muhammad said they hold the festival in Tattnall Square Park because of its significance.
"That was a park black people could not go to and suffered a lot of injustices and indignities even entering the park," Muhammad said. "But after segregation had ended... we were able to go into that park for the first time. We decided to give tribute to those people who struggled for their opportunities."
The Kwanzaa Cultural Access Center along with Torchlight Academy, Inc. has been organizing the event for 25 years, since 1993.
"It is not something that is limited to one race, it is something that is a wonderful opportunity for all races, for all backgrounds, all ethnicities to learn about this history," Muhammad said.
The 26th annual Juneteenth Freedom Festival will take place Saturday from noon to 9 p.m. in Tattnall Square Park. Admission is free.