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While Juneteenth only became a federal holiday three years ago, it’s been celebrated since 1865, when word of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached enslaved people in Texas on June 19 following the end of the Civil War. This year marked the 24th annual celebration of Juneteenth in Eau Claire, where a crowd gathered in Carson Park for food, music, children’s activities, and speakers. The event was organized by Uniting Bridges, a local nonprofit group.