The 27th annual 'Juneteenth Celebration' kicked off Monday afternoon at the Sinissippi Park Music Shell.
The event is free to the public with great food and entertainment celebrating rich culture right here in Rockford. The celebration kicks off every year on June 19th to celebrate the day over 150 years ago when slaves were finally set free.
"This tradition's not just for African Americans. A lot of people made it possible for us to gain our freedom and this is an American issue. So I think not just African Americans, all cultures should learn about what the struggle was with Juneteenth and the ending of slavery," said Tommy Meeks, Juneteenth Coordinator.