City officials announce events to celebrate 'Juneteenth'

2017 Juneteenth Celebration planned for this week

City officials announced this week's events to celebrate "Juneteenth,” the oldest known celebration marking the ending of slavery in the United States.

There are a number of events scheduled in celebration of “Juneteenth,” including African-American Heritage Day at Kennywood on Thursday.

On Saturday, an "Ancestors Memorial Service" will be held at St. Benedict the Moor Church.

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After the service, the Jubilee of Freeman Parade will wind its way through the city from the church to Market Square.

There will be a festival in the square after the parade and organizers are inviting everyone to take part in the celebration.

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The Freedom Day Festival is named in honor of Martin Delaney, an abolitionist, journalist, physician and writer who was raised in Pittsburgh.

“It's imperative that we teach each other to love each other and to know our heritage,” said William Anderson, president of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Young Democrats. “This is an historical event and when it began they marched miles and miles in the dirt.”

“If you want to educate students on where they're going, you have to tell them where they came from,” said Dr. Phillip Woods, principal of West Mifflin High School.

The celebration will include entertainment, speakers and a fun zone for kids.

The festival is scheduled from noon until 9 p.m. Saturday.