MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) – From Broward County to Miami-Dade, South Florida is celebrating the country’s new federal holiday.
At Calder Casino, Miami’s City Gardens are hosting their Juneteenth Park-in and Party celebration, where the food, fun, dancing and music showed no signs of letting up on Sunday night.
“This is the place to be; I’d rather be nowhere else,” said party girl Nikita Ivory.
“I love being surrounded by different cultures and diversities. It’s amazing to be here,” said party girl Tywanda Dupont.
The rainy weather didn’t stop black vendors at the event from joining forces to sell their black-owned products.
Among them was Dr. Edward G. Robinson, who uses the holidays to introduce “Readman,” the book and black superhero he created who encourages children to read.
“We want to encourage our boys and girls to love and be enthusiastic about reading, because reading opens doors to success.” said Robinson.
June 19, or June 19, represents the day in 1865 when slaves learned they were free.
The reason behind the holidays was the theme for Miami Beach’s third annual Juneteenth event.
“It’s critical that people understand the meaning of this holiday because it’s not a holiday just for African Americans or people of African descent,” said Heather Russell, professor of literature at Florida International University. “It’s a vacation that’s central to who we are as America.”
In Deerfield Beach, the city hosted its Freedom Fest with music, live bands and a foam party for kids.
The Coral Springs celebration featured performances from black Greek fraternities and sororities.
North Miami Beach also spotlighted Black Greek organizations. Some fraternity and sorority members put on a step show.
The participants who were out on Sunday were grateful to see this holiday celebrated by so many people.
“I’m happy to be a part of this black culture event, and I want to see more next year and the year after and the year after,” Dupont said. “I want everyone to be able to create that kind of diversity…because black lives matter in this world. We matter, our businesses matter, our lives matter.
Most of the Sunday June 19 events wrapped up in the late afternoon, but Park-in and Party continued at Calder Casino all night. The headliner for the Miami Gardens event was rapper Doug E. Fresh.
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