COLORADO SPRINGS — The second annual Southern Colorado Juneteenth Festival took place over the course of this weekend at America the Beautiful Park.

The three-day festival is free and open to the public in downtown at 126 Cimino Dr. It featured national artist headliners, local stepshow talent, a car show, fashion show, games and activities.

Juneteenth is a national holiday celebrated on June 19 to commemorate the emancipation of those who were enslaved in the United States.

Among the many activities was live music… including the African-American national anthem.

“In 1863, January first, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation but that message wasn’t disseminated to a lot of the black communities which were at the time slaves,” said Terryjosiah Sharpe, one of the coordinators of the festival.

But, it wasn’t until two-and-a-half years later, on June 19th, when it reached those communities.

“Slaves found out they wasn’t slaves anymore in 1865 in Galveston, Texas,” said Will Starks, one of the main organizers of the event. “That’s very important for everyone to celebrate that you know, and celebrate your freedom.”

The event sought to bring together communities and celebrate black freedom and oneness.

Southern Colorado’s Juneteenth Festival aims to bring together people from every background and community for a time of celebration.

Festival schedule:

  • Friday, Jun 17 — 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, Jun 18 — 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Sunday, Jun 19 — 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The festival will be accepting sponsors, vendors and volunteers to help support the event. You can submit inquiries for the event here.

During the event, a “Road Closed” sign was defaced with the N-word, which is currently being investigated by the Colorado Springs Police Department.

“This happens all the time,” said Floyd Brown, a volunteer.

So, he said with things like this happening in their community, he said he hopes the festival can help send a message.

“We need to get the city together. We are one, we are one city.”