Freedom Festival celebrates Juneteenth with parade down Jefferson Ave

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — From East Ferry Street to Jefferson, folks stopped by the Freedom Festival and Parade to sing dance, and celebrate freedom.


With the Buffalo city-wide celebration moving to a virtual event this year, groups around the community started their own parades. GYC Ministries Pastor Tim Newkirk says the march symbolizes peaceful marches throughout history.


The 2021 festivities are especially celebratory because President Biden officially named Juneteenth a federal holiday. One of the parade organizers, Mercedes Overstreet, says this day represents new beginnings.

“This is our freedom. We are free this Juneteenth. It is our Independence Day. So we can’t enjoy our 4th of July without Juneteenth,” said Overstreet.


With folks of all ages and different backgrounds commemorating their fight for freedom, Pastor Newkirk says this kind of celebration brings everyone together.

“You’ve got unity in the community. This is what it feels like when the community comes together,” said Newkirk. “This is what it feels like when you bring all the community organizations, the parties, the religions, the faith organizations, this what the young people need to see to keep the dream going.”

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