NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Celebrations filled with music, food and family fun help share the history of Juneteenth.
The nation's youngest federal holiday marks the day in 1865 when Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to ensure freedom for all enslaved people.
"It's good to know because it's not only Black history it's American history and it's so important," said Gary Burke, a reenactor with the 13th United States Colored Troop Living Association.
Nashvillians across town gathered to celebrate the day as they have long before it received formal recognition.
In Hadley Park organizers have been hosting the Music City Freedom Festival for three years.
Jennifer Barton attended the festival with her son.
"Just looking back at the initial history of Juneteenth. So of course, we've always celebrated July Fourth, but to get the real installation of what the real freedom of slavery and abolishing slavery really meant, we had to make sure to come out," Barton said.
At the Juneteenth 615 festival at Fort Negley Park, people of all ages came together to celebrate including Mayor John Cooper.
"The more we learn, the more we're informed the better citizens we are," he said.
Those attending Juneteenth events said the day is a time to celebrate Black culture and businesses, but also a time to reflect on how far the country has come and how far it has to go.
"It's very humbling to know that we're standing on very sacred ground here that was walked by enslaved people before us who paved the way that their next generation could have a better tomorrow, because of the price that they paid," Burke said.