Pittsburgh takes to the streets to celebrate Juneteenth

PITTSBURGH — Hundreds gathered Saturday morning to celebrate the Juneteenth Grand Jubilee Parade.

The parade started at Freedom Corner in the Hill District, with the theme of the Jubilee of Freemen parade from 1870.

“It’s actually a reenactment of a parade held here in 1870 the Jubilee of Freemen parade which was focused on the voting rights,” William Marshall, parade organizer, said.

The parade commemorates the United States passing the 15th Amendment— the right to vote not denied by race — and the 13th Amendment, which marked the end of slavery.

This is the fifth year for the parade, but this year has special significance now that Juneteenth is a federal holiday.

“To me, my ancestors are much more appreciated. They fought the battle, they fought a hard battle,” McKeesport resident Denise Sinkler said. “And they are remembered. And that means everything to me.”

Lawrenceville resident Chris Sould said Juneteenth “finally gets the recognition that it deserves.”

The parade also included US Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Jewel Bronaugh, who encouraged young people to get vaccinated.

“My kids are vaccinated. And they’re young and their safe. Get the vaccination so that we ensure no one gets sick or dies from the pandemic,” she said.

Nine days of events celebrating Juneteenth will end Sunday with a celebration at Point State Park.