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Long-running Madison Juneteenth event celebrates first official holiday

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Celebrations across Madison marked the first federally-recognized Juneteenth.

The newly-official holiday is a celebration of June 19, 1865 when the last slaves in Galveston, Texas learned they were free.

A parade through Madison on Saturday ended at Penn Park, where there were food trucks, activities, and performances.

"I've been attending this event for more than 20 plus years. And so this is good to see more and more people showing up. And seeing the diversity of the people who are showing up," said Godwin Amegashie with 100 Black Men of Madison.

It wraps up a week of events put on by the Kujichagulia Madison Center for Self Determination.

"We had four days of virtual programming to adjust to the difference, the difference in our community, the way they interact, where they communicate, and how they how they socialize," said Annie Weatherby-Flowers, Board Chair of the Kujichagulia-Madison Center.

UW Health helped run a coronavirus vaccine clinic at the event.

Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes was the keynote speaker there Saturday afternoon.

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