RACINE — Hundreds gathered at Roosevelt Park to celebrate Juneteenth through a parade Saturday. As the drum line marched through the streets as dancers moved to their beats while crowds of people from all generations cheered.
Celebrations have been underway throughout Racine all week to mark the 157 years since Juneteenth.
The federal holiday commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. On June 19th, 1865 enslaved African Americans in Galveston Texas received the news that they were finally free.
Former NBA champion and coach, Caron Butler is a Racine native. He grew up attending the Juneteenth parade and has now made it a tradition for his family.
"It's grown over the years and it's just beautiful to see so many people not just black from all walks of life just out here celebrating our special day," said Butler.
Dozens of food vendors cooked fresh bar-b-q and other soul food staples.
Janela Smith was one of the dozens of business owners present selling goods. Her accessory line, Shea Brojaes, features handcrafted jewelry that shares her roots.
"It's a beautiful thing to see that we can come together and there is so many different talent and gifts," said Smith.
The parade even drew folks from out of town. Catrina Hill drove in from Louisville, Kentucky to attend the festivities.
"It's worth the drive. It's a 6-hour drive to get here and it's worth every moment," said Hill.