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PHOTOS: Celebrating Juneteenth in New Haven

New Haven’s Juneteenth celebration returned this weekend for its 10th year, hosted by the Official Juneteenth Coalition of Greater New Haven and the Festival of Arts & Ideas.

This is the first year Connecticut is observing the annual celebration as an official state holiday that marks June 19, 1865 — the day the last enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, learned of their freedom following the end of the Civil War.

The four-day festival, June 17-20, features youth performances, African dance and drumming, a Juneteenth marketplace with Black-owned businesses and vendors, and a performance by legendary early hip-hop pioneers Cold Crush Brothers, among other celebrations.

Saturday’s events began with a youth-led Freedom March from the old Stetson Library to the New Haven Green.

Ana Mitchell, an event organizer, said the march signifies the journey of freed people from enslavement to freedom and equality.

Tayvon Berryman, director of the Village Drill Team & Drum Corps who led the march, says it was important for the team to celebrate and keep African American history alive.

“When you find out for yourself who you really are, it’s amazing to celebrate just who you are,” he said.

Click through the gallery above to see more from Saturday.

Ryan Caron King joined Connecticut Public in 2015 as a reporter and video journalist. He was also one of eight reporters on the New England News Collaborative’s launch team, covering regional issues such as immigration, the environment, transportation, and the opioid epidemic.

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