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Hundreds celebrate Freedom Day at Louisville Juneteenth Festival

Updated: Jun. 20, 2021 at 8:51 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Louisville Juneteenth Festival brought hundreds of people out to the Waterfront on Saturday to celebrate.

Aaron Jordan, the producer of the festival and president of Black Complex Louisville, had most festival-goers’ mood.

“I’m feeling black-ity Black,” Jordan said.

Jordan said with Juneteenth now being a federal holiday, he was happy to see so many people at the festival.

“I just think that there’s so much work to be done,” Jordan explained. “I think for Black people, sometimes it becomes kind of complicated to figure out when’s a time to sit in something and appreciate it, and also having the other side that there’s still so much work to do so as Black people. This is just one of those moments I think we should just sit in it and appreciate the folks who did the work for the legislation.”

The Juneteenth Choir kicked off the festival and sang songs of liberation and justice as dozens of Black-owned businesses lined the park. One of those businesses was Big Moe’s BBQ. The owner, James Linton, said he was thankful for the Juneteenth crowd.

“Last year has been extremely tough on any small business,” Linton said. “Today is a welcome day, you go from week to week hoping that you can keep your business open but today we have been rocking since 9 this morning.”

It was a day many festival goers say was needed. Linton said he’s hoping the city can move forward from here.

“This is what it takes to change the city, people coming together, who don’t know each other, having a great time talking and finding out we’re not so different,” Linton said. “That’s the only way we can turn this city around overnight.”

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