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Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo presents virtual celebration

The 46th consecutive Juneteenth festival of Buffalo takes place this weekend and coincides with the new federal holiday.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The 2021 Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo will once again be a virtual festival taking place June 19-20.  Festival organizers are planning for the two-day virtual event to be viewed on several media platforms including Facebook, YouTube, Zoom and www.JuneteenthofBuffalo.com.  

Adding to the excitement of this year's festivities is the recognition by New York State of Juneteenth, June 19, as an official public holiday. 

 Juneteenth was originally celebrated June 19, 1865, when enslaved people in Texas learned that they would been free, since the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, 2 1/2 years earlier. 

This year will be the 46th consecutive Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo.  The theme of this year's festival "The Continual Evolution of Juneteenth" will be supported by elements of the traditional outdoor festival including a virtual parade, entertainment, historical and cultural presentations and more.  

"We invite the worldwide community and all of our supporters to enjoy the Festival, while watching on the web. Let's not allow the restrictions and safety measures of this unprecedented era to inhibit our of the most celebrated times of the African American community. Our Festival will provide a safe zone for families to enjoy the experience from anywhere in the world" says Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo, president Jennifer Strickland. 

Festival specific events, including Sankofa Days and Maafa Memorial, are June 14 to June 20, 2021, with virtual activities and events on Festival weekend, June 19 and 20.

Virtual activities, presentations and entertainment will be on social media platforms, Facebook (Juneteenth of Buffalo Festival and Juneteenth Festival, Inc.); YouTube; Zoom and JuneteenthofBuffalo.com.

WGRZ Channel 2 is a proud sponsor of the Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo.  WGRZ will air a special edition of  "commUNITY" hosted by Claudine Ewing and Pete Gallivan, on Saturday, June 12th at 5:50 a.m., 7:30 p.m. and again on Saturday June 19th at 8:30 a.m. This special edition focuses on the celebration of the Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo.  

For updates on this year's Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo visit www.JuneteenthofBuffalo.com

RELATED: New legislation makes Juneteenth an official public holiday in NYS

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