Juneteenth returns this weekend, kicking off with a flag raising at City Hall on Friday afternoon.

Syracuse Juneteenth continues the festivities with food, music and entertainment in Clinton Square on Saturday, June 15.

The main attraction is the Juneteenth Victory Parade, which steps off from the Dunbar Center at 11 a.m. on Saturday and arrives in Clinton Square at approximately noon. From noon to 10 p.m., attendees can enjoy dance and R&B performances in the square, food and retail vendors, and resources from community organizations, health and human service agencies.

Continuing on Saturday, Syracuse.com photographers will offer complimentary family portraits from 2-4 p.m. at the festival in Clinton Square. Just look for the Syracuse.com tent and booth located at the plaza corner near the Jerry Rescue monument.

Brothers Levi Meadows, 8, and Zion Meadows, 12, attend the Syracuse Juneteenth ­Festival on Saturday, June 17, 2023. (Katrina Tulloch)

Brothers Levi Meadows, 8, and Zion Meadows, 12, attend the Syracuse Juneteenth ­Festival on Saturday, June 17, 2023. (Katrina Tulloch)

Rev. H. Bernard Alex and Syracuse Juneteenth board members led the flag raising on Friday with a proclamation from Mayor Ben Walsh and music from the Syracuse Juneteenth drummers.

Juneteenth (June 19) marks the day at the end of the Civil War in 1865 that Union troops told the last slaves (in Galveston, Texas) that they were free. It has been celebrated in the African-American community ever since and became a federal holiday in 2021.

There will be a ticketed Syracuse event on Wednesday, June 19 next week. The Juneteenth Ancestral Celebration at City Hall Atrium, 201 E. Washington St. takes place at 6 p.m. with $75 admission.

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