Juneteenth festival kicks off at Civic Center Plaza 

Marking the end of slavery in U.S., African-Americans in San Francisco and much of the country are taking to the streets this weekend to celebrate Juneteenth with music, food and parades.

The celebration in Civic Center Plaza drew hundreds of people for festivities Saturday. Today’s celebration kicks off at 11 a.m. and will last through 7 p.m. R&B performers, gospel choirs and dancers perform between 2 and 4 p.m.

San Francisco’s Juneteenth celebration began 60 years ago. It is one of the largest gatherings of African-Americans in Northern California, according to the festival website.

Juneteenth celebrates the time in mid-June 1863 when slaves in Texas and nearby states first got word of the Emancipation Proclamation,  which declared slavery illegal. It’s celebrated in 33 other states.

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

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