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Juneteenth organizers excited ahead of the celebrations in Omaha

They say it's about honoring history and culture
Posted at 10:14 AM, Jun 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-18 11:14:49-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — On Saturday, North Omaha will be packed with people celebrating Juneteenth. Events are happening all day long, starting with the parade down 24th street.

Organizers say there are a few reasons behind the celebrations.

"Here we have this time this day, if you will, to celebrate the culture and heritage and history of the African American history to affirm it," Preston Love Jr., advocate and Juneteenth organizer says.

"I think it just helps build the culture that is in Omaha. I think sometimes it’s overlooked on a city level. The amazing talent that is here and also the cultural impacts of black and brown people in Omaha so having multiple things in the same area gives us an opportunity to have a memorable event," said Alajia McKiza, a Juneteenth organizer.

The parade returns to North 24th street, kicking off at Lake Street and ending at Sprague. In the past few years, it's been held on 30th street but organizers say 24th street is where it belongs.

"The quintessential quarter for this community is 24th street," Love says.

Also happening Saturday is the Freedom Festival starting at 12 p.m. at the Malcolm X Memorial. The event will have lots of entertainment like concerts but they'll also have free resources available.

"It’s going to be about connecting people in the community with resources. What we like to do is bring awareness to African American culture and the history of North Omaha by introducing people to the culture and then having a place for them to celebrate their heritage after the parade," said Calvin Williams, Operational Manager for Freedomtainment. "We bring awareness to things like food insecurity, we bring technology, we bring cultural and educational aspects."

However you decide to celebrate, organizers want you to have fun.

"Enjoy Juneteenth. Have fun and honor your ancestors and move in love," McKiza said.