Binghamton celebrates Juneteenth

By Brandi Bailey

June 11, 2013 Updated Jun 11, 2013 at 6:19 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Local officials and members of the community will commemorate the nation's end of slavery with a celebration this weekend.

The Broome County Urban League and the Broome-Tioga NAACP will host this year's Juneteenth event at Columbus Park.

There will be speakers, dancers and basketball clinics by the BU men's and women's teams.There will also be a visit with the Oneonta Stallions American Football League.

Juneteenth -- which officially takes place June 19 each year -- is often referred to as the African American Emancipation Day and compared to July 4th, representing independence and freedom.

"We pride ourselves on the rich diversity that we do have here in the city and it's an important opportunity to not only connect with neighbors and the connections we have but to celebrate the freedoms that we have," said Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan.

The event runs from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at Columbus Park.

Juneteenth started in Texas after enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation finally brought freedom to slaves there.

Now the holiday end of slavery and is recognized by people of all ethnic and racial backgrounds.