LANSING, MI (WILX) -- Michigan's celebration of the end of slavery kicked off at Lansing Community College Thursday night.
The three-day Juneteenth holiday commemorates the announcement of the emancipation of slaves in the former confederate states on June 19, 1865.
The event featured several speakers, including Gov. Whitmer, Mayor Andy Schor and Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist.
Musical and Theatrical performances are also part of the event.
Marilyn Plummer, community outreach coordinator said, "The Juneteenth celebration is a celebration of coming together with community and friends regardless of ethnicity, people of all cultures, especially African Americans."
The celebration will continue throughout the weekend. Friday, the freedom festival will be held at Saint Joseph Park in Lansing. The event opens at 3 p.m. with several vendors, entertainment and family activities.
The "African American Parade and Juneteenth Peace Walk" will take place Saturday beginning at the Letts Community Center at 10 a.m.
Michigan became the 18th state to officially recognize Juneteenth as a holiday back in 2005.
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