Thousands Gather for Juneteenth Festival

June 16, 2013 Updated Jun 16, 2013 at 1:46 PM EDT

By HILARY LANE

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June 16, 2013 Updated Jun 16, 2013 at 1:46 PM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW)- Thousands of people gathered in Martin Luther King Jr. Park for the Juneteenth festival on Saturday. It is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the united states.

Buffalo boasts the third largest Juneteenth festival in the world.

"It celebrates the richness and strength of the African people who went through all of the things we had to go through in this country," said Co-Coordinator Joann Peters.

The rich African culture was on display in the park Saturday including traditional African dresses, music, and food.

One of the most popular foods among festival goers, chicken and beef seasoned with a spice called suya, from Migeria.

More important than the food, the balloons, or the pomp and circumstance is commemorating African American history and spending quality time with the family.