Juneteenth Celebration in Seattle brings thousands and creates new traditions

Saturday, thousands celebrated Juneteenth at Jimi Hendrix Park in  , creating a new tradition for generations to come.

For the first time in more than 30 years, the federal government has recognized a new holiday. June 19, or Juneteenth, recognizes when the last enslaved African Americans learned of their freedom.

In Seattle, people of all ages celebrated the day.

"This is really a lineage of so many of our ancestors, vying for this, vying for the importance, vying for the recognition and the acknowledgment," said Trae Holiday.

Holiday is the Media Director of King County Equity Now, one of the groups that organized Saturday’s event.

She said while Juneteenth is a celebration today, it was not always recognized this way.

RELATED: Biden signs bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

"I didn’t learn about the history here in Seattle. I didn’t understand the significance of it," said Holiday.

She said it’s not something she became aware of until she was in college. 

Gerri Williams attended the event with her family. She said like Holiday, she did not grow up celebrating Juneteenth. 

Williams said her great-grandparents were slaves and that her parents fought for civil rights. She said it’s been a generational battle in her family to fight for equity and she’s happy that her grandson will only know June 19 as a day of celebration.

"He’ll pass it on to his kids, and they’ll pass it on to their kids. It will be a generational celebration," said Williams.

Holiday said the federal recognition of Juneteenth is a huge step forward, but it is just a step and the fight for equality will continue.

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