AUSTIN (KXAN) — Many Central Texans gathered Saturday to celebrate Juneteenth in east Austin with a parade and festival. 

The Central Texas Juneteenth celebration began with a parade down Salina Street and to Rosewood Neighborhood Park. Later, a festival was held with music, vendors and food. 

One attendee, Victor Frederick, said Juneteenth means bringing people together, unity and family. 

“Being an original Austinite, seeing people come together out here…it’s a lot of different races out here, but that’s what Juneteenth means to me,” Frederick said. 

Juneteenth celebrates when the news of the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation reached Galveston, Texas, in 1865. Union Gen. Gordon Granger and his troops arrived in Galveston on June 19, 1895, and let the enslaved people know they were now free. 

  • The Central Texas Juneteenth celebration was held Saturday in east Austin. (KXAN Photo/Christian Marcelli)
  • The Central Texas Juneteenth celebration was held Saturday in east Austin. (KXAN Photo/Christian Marcelli)
  • The Central Texas Juneteenth celebration was held Saturday in east Austin. (KXAN Photo/Christian Marcelli)

The holiday is also known as Freedom Day and Juneteenth Independence Day. 

Juneteenth became a federal holiday in 2021. It became a Texas state holiday in 1980. 

Several other Juneteenth events were held in Central Texas on Saturday, including in Leander, Georgetown and Buda.

More local Juneteenth events will be held Sunday:

  • Stay Black & Live will be held at the George Washington Carver Museum from noon to 6 p.m. 
  • Jazz on the Green will be held at the Wells Branch Homestead from 6 to 8 p.m. 
  • Juneteenth Aqua Float, hosted by Black Women Who Kayak, will be held at the Texas Rowing Center from 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets are required.