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Rochester kicks off the Juneteenth celebration activities on Friday

The official Juneteenth flying outside of Rochester City Hall.
James Brown
WXXI News/file photo
The official Juneteenth flag flying outside of Rochester City Hall.

Juneteenth events in the city kick off on Friday, with a block party hosted at Rochester City Hall on Church Street.

That activity runs from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Festivities include food trucks, music and a ceremonial flag raising.

The Juneteenth flag raising ceremony will take place at noon.

Mayor Malik Evans issued a statement saying that, “We’re celebrating our nation’s second independence day. Juneteenth is a special time when we pause to honor the resilience and achievements of African Americans while reflecting on our past and looking forward to the future.

On Saturday, a Juneteenth festival will take place at Martin Luther King Jr. Park. It will commemorate 50 years of hip-hop while embracing a lifetime of freedom.

There will be a parade starting at 10 a.m. downtown, and the festival will kick off with an elders ceremony inside the Strong museum at 11 a.m.

Other organizations across the Greater Rochester Area are hosting events of their own to recognize the holiday.

Kara Osipovitch, Special Events Coordinator for the city, said that, “It's important to recognize and celebrate at the same time, and that's what these events aim to do.” She said that the city has always had a slate of programming for the holiday, but the festival at MLK Park has gotten stronger since Juneteenth became a nationally recognized holiday.