PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Preparations are underway for one of the biggest Juneteenth celebrations in Western Pennsylvania.

“Fourth of July, Black people were still enslaved. So, this is our Independence Day,” said William Marshall, founder and producer of this local Juneteenth celebration.

June 19, 1865, is the day enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, learned they were free.

“This is the 11th annual Juneteenth celebration. We do this every year,” Marshall said. 

The festival spans three days and takes place in Downtown Pittsburgh.

“We speak about our culture and heritage and about the end of slavery,” Marshall said. 

Tents and the stage are set up at Point State Park, and performances will take place there and at Market Square. Marshall expects more than 50,000 people to show up, plus at least 150 vendors.

Friday is Hip Hop Day. Over at Market Square will be Old School Day. The parade is set for Saturday, and then it’s Ladies Night at Point State Park and Market Square. The tunes then continue on Sunday.

“Both areas will be active with a lot of people, a lot of enjoyment, a lot of fun,” Marshall said. “So, everybody needs to come out and celebrate. There’s something for everybody.”

Activities begin at 11 a.m. Marshall said these events have a positive impact on the community.

“One of the things that we recognized when I was a child is having these big types of festival events with younger people, older people,” Marshall said.