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San Antonio celebrates Juneteenth

Holiday commemorates 149 years of freedom

SAN ANTONIO – People all across San Antonio celebrated Juneteenth Saturday.

The Juneteenth holiday commemorates the day that Union General Gordon Grainger rode to Galveston Bay and read Executive Order No. 3, proclaiming all slaves to be free.

The holiday, actually on June 19, is celebrated in every state in the United States, but Texas is the only state in which it is an official state holiday.

Locally, families turned out at Comanche Park to enjoy live music, a parade and a history presentation.

"It's friendship. Anybody that believes in freedom can come and celebrate with us. I don't care who they are, black, white, blue, green, if they believe in freedom, that's the only prior qualification to serve with us," said Oscar Vicks, Juneteenth chairman. "And we're celebrating 149 years, next year will be the 150th year of the Juneteenth festival."