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Juneteenth festival breaks record for attendees

Organizer of the Southern Colorado Juneteenth Festival Jennifer Smith tells 11 News, attendance for the three-day festival broke records this year. Last year, 8,500 people attended the three day festival. This year, 8,000 attended just on Saturday alone.
Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 6:35 PM MDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2022 at 4:58 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Juneteenth was celebrated over the weekend but today is the day it is being recognized as a federal holiday.

Organizer of the Southern Colorado Juneteenth Festival Jennifer Smith tells 11 News attendance for the three-day festival broke records this year. Last year, 8,500 people attended the event. This year, 8,000 attended just on Saturday alone.

America the Beautiful Park was filled with dozens of Black-owned business vendors. Smith tells 11 News everyone came out to celebrate freedom. Smith is originally from Louisiana, where she says they talk about Juneteenth often. She says since moving to Colorado Springs, she really hasn’t heard anyone talk about it. This is when the non-profit decided to start organizing a festival in Colorado Springs.

“If you are not aware of something, you don’t talk about it,” said Smith. “When you find out about it sometimes, you are nervous because if it’s not clear, you’re not sure. Having events like this, when you talk about the proclamation, emancipation, and things like that to get to clear and comfortable, then it makes more sense.”

Even though it is a federal holiday, only a handful of states, including Colorado, recognize the holiday for their government workers.

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