“It just makes my heart happy:” Hundreds commemorate Juneteenth day and celebrate freedom in Milwaukee

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MILWAUKEE -- A big celebration in Milwaukee on Friday, June 19th as hundreds of people commemorate 'Juneteenth' day. 150 years ago, the last slaves were told of the Emancipation Proclamation.

It's a day to remember the past.

"It's just a great day for Milwaukee," said James Harris, celebrating Juneteenth day.

A celebration that spans generations.

"I've been coming here now for like over 30 some years, my mom used to bring me when I was little," said Maxine Crenshaw, celebrating Juneteenth.

It is Juneteenth day.

"I'm definitely excited to see such a great turnout. A positive thing for 150 years celebrating," said Harris.

June 19th, 1865, the day when the last slaves were told of the Emancipation Proclamation.

"It means a lot to me to see that we actually have a holiday that we can come together and celebrate our freedom, so it's not everyday that we get that," said Benjamin Godbolt, celebrating Juneteenth day.

Friday, the party took place on Dr. Martin Luther King Drive -- between Burleigh and Center streets.

"I'm just happy. It just makes my heart happy to see everybody have a great time -- kids playing, stages, it's a great platform and it's a great celebration for us," said Harris.

It has all the signs of a summer block party, complete with all the entertainment and for sure some education.

"Being that I never know about this, my dad informed me that this is a black Independence Day, which means a lot to the African American people," said Kaytriauna Farr, celebrating Juneteenth.

"I just encourage everybody who has ever come to this to continue to help it grow and help it become better, because each year it gets better," said Harris.

The celebration started around 9 a.m. Friday morning with the parade. The street festival is expected to end at 6 p.m.