Juneteenth Freedom Festival celebrated in San Francisco with music, food and diversity

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — This weekend, as the Nation commemorates the June 19 holiday, the Bay Area is throwing its own party to celebrate.

The music rocked the Fillmore District, the center of San Francisco’s Juneteenth Freedom Celebration, which spans eight city blocks.

Juneteenth has become a national holiday in 2021, commemorating the end of slavery in America, but Lori Watkins says the story is complicated.

RELATED: Here’s a List of June 19, 2022 Events Happening in the Bay Area

“But we all know in Texas they haven’t told people for two years that they’re free. That means everything is free, we’re working on it day by day,” Watkins said.

Chef Steve Johnson was cooking up his own creation of soul food hibachi: shrimp, crab and lobster. He gives back to the neighborhood he loves.

“All these people here, we grew up here, it’s important to come out and support our own people,” Johnson said.

“I am happy that we are finally celebrating this holiday,” said San Francisco Police Chief William Scott.

RELATED: Santa Clara Co. Executives Hope Becoming the First County to Make Juneteenth a Holiday Will Bring More Change

Chief Scott was there, reflecting on the importance of Juneteenth.

“It’s really special in this space, not just celebrating the holidays, but watching the diversity of people here. It speaks to the city and how far we’ve come,” Scott said.

“With everything going on in the world, we are able to celebrate our day and be one community together, black, white and brown,” said DJ William Stokes.

RELATED: The 1st June 19 flag raised in San Mateo Co., honoring the holiday recognizing the end of slavery in the United States

Kenyattah Green has her own reason for celebrating Juneteenth, her daughter Nia.

“She was born on June 19, 2020, she’s the freedom baby here,” she said.

RELATED: How to Tell Your Kids About Juneteenth

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