TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The city of Tampa kicked off Juneteenth Friday morning with a flag-raising ceremony and cultural arts festival.
The holiday is to commemorate the time where the last Black enslaved people were given notice of their freedom back in 1865.
“It’s outside of the month of February giving us another day to celebrate,” said Donia Pierre, owner of Creative Lounge.
Lakeema Matthew, also an owner of Creative Lounge, told WFLA they wouldn’t be able to showcase their art if it wasn’t for this freedom and ancestors.
“They did a lot of us to be free,” Matthew said. “So being able to appreciate and be grateful for being able to be business owners with our skin color.”
ROC The Block Festivals is also holding a Juneteenth celebration on Saturday at Raymond James Stadium from 3 to 9 p.m.
“This field is getting ready to be lined up with flags, tents, people. This is probably one of the few Black community events that is held in this space all year round,” said RJ Stevenson.
They’re inviting everyone out to have fun but also learn. Juneteenth is American history.
“Bringing everyone together for the culture and honoring and remembering where we’ve come from and how we can move forward,” said Bolaji Ajike.
You can purchase tickets for ROC The Block’s Juneteenth celebration online and can also receive 19% off with the codes “RJ” or “Bolaji”.