ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – It’s the 2nd year for Juneteenth to be celebrated as a national holiday and the fully renovated Stevenson Park in East Abilene continues its weekend celebrations. 

Juneteenth celebrates the day in 1865 when Union soldiers landed in Galveston, officially proclaiming all enslaved African Americans living in Texas free. 

“To celebrate our freedom is pretty amazing. It’s not happening everywhere but we celebrate that here,” said Abilene Chief of police, Marcus Dudley Jr. 

The celebration led members of the community to fill Stevenson Park, ready to partake in live music, a fashion show, 3-on-3 basketball and so much more. 

Now under the banner of a federal holiday, this year’s Juneteenth is likely to be bigger and better for all in Abilene as well as for those out of town like Jeremy Busby. 

“I’m looking forward to all the food, seeing the kids have a good time, and seeing people dance to good music,” said Busby. 

Busby says while in town last year he ran into the event and enjoyed it so much that he had to attend again this year.   

“I feel like I’m a part of the community like I’ve always lived here. The people treat me very welcomely and the people are very nice here,” said Busby. 

With open arms, Mayor Anthony Williams says having events like this allows the city to continue coming together.  

“This should be looked at as an opportunity for everybody in this country and this world to celebrate,” said Mayor Williams.  

And together we all can recognize Juneteenth as not just Black history, but American history. 

Sunday, celebrations continue with activities for people of all ages. This includes a day of praise service, Father’s Day tribute, youth football camp, and more.