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Northlanders recognize the significance of Juneteenth, now a federal holiday

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DULUTH, MN-- The day of June 19, or Juneteenth, has become a federal holiday and locals are preparing for various celebratory events.

RELATED: Juneteenth flag raised above Wisconsin Capitol

Local representatives describe the event as a joyful day signifying a step towards freedom.

"To us, it's a celebration of us, of people who really don't have a cultural or core identity in the United States," Kim Young, Founder of the Superior African Heritage said.

Juneteenth recognizes June 19 of 1865 where Union Soldiers arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas emancipating people who were slaves in the last Confederate territory.

Duluth's NAACP is hosting their "Celebrating Black Joy" event at Duluth's Central Hillside Park from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

40 Acre Co-operation in Willow River is hosting its first annual Juneteenth celebration and its president, Angela Dawson says that the new federal holiday is a step in the right direction.

"I feel like it's a good thing for us to acknowledge, I think awareness is good, and then acknowledgment is great and action is even better," Dawson said.

Nathan Coward, founder of Voice for Ethnic and Multicultural Awareness, says that with Juneteenth becoming a federal holiday he hopes that it will push to educate the public on its history and meaning.

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Abigael Smith

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