‘Unity in the community.’ Juneteenth Festival celebrated along Bergen Street in Newark

Several streets were blocked off for the festival which replaced the Bergen Street Festival, a merchant event.

Amanda Eustice

Jun 15, 2024, 9:33 PM

Updated 34 days ago

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Music filled the air along Bergen Street for Newark's annual Juneteenth Festival between Lyons Avenue and Nye Avenue in the city's South Ward.
Several streets were blocked off for the festival which replaced the Bergen Street Festival, a merchant event. More than 100 vendors, over two dozen food trucks and several rides and activities covered the streets.
This year organizers anticipated over 3,000 people to attend. It was put on by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and South Ward Council Member Patrick Council.
"We are honoring the legacy of Amiri and Amina Baraka – who, back when no one in the City of Newark really knew what was going on with Juneteeth – they were sounding the horns on 10th Street where they live," said Council.
Organizers say while the day is all about food, fun and culture, it's also about learning the history of Juneteenth and figuring out ways on how to progress.
"We still got a road map to move forward, and we still have to let people know we’re stronger together than apart,” said Council.
Organizers say they hope to continue put on the celebration for years to come.
Many Americans are celebrating Juneteenth, marking the day in 1865 when the last enslaved people in the United States learned they were free.
For generations, Black Americans have recognized the end of one of the darkest chapters in U.S. history with joy, in the form of parades, street festivals, musical performances or cookouts.
The U.S. government was slow to embrace the occasion — it was only in 2021 that President Joe Biden signed a bill passed by Congress to set aside Juneteenth, or June 19th, as a federal holiday.
AP Wire Services contributed to this report.


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