BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Juneteenth Festival Board says the 47th consecutiveJuneteenth Festival will be a time for healing. The celebration kicks off Friday, June 10th when the African Liberation Flag will be raised in front of Buffalo City Hall. The festival will take place June 18th and 19th in MLK Park.
"I would like to invite everybody to approach Juneteenth this year as a time of healing, as an opportunity to come together in healing," Dayatra Hassan, a Juneteenth Festival Board Member, said.
"We're showing the strength and determination that no one is going to stop us from continuing to love and embrace ourselves, and share with the community that strength and determination that as horrible as that was, it won't stop us from moving forward," Ron Draffin, a Juneteenth Festival Board Member, said.
A community moving forward after the tragedy at Tops on Jefferson Avenue while honoring the 10 victims who lost their lives in the racially motivated attack.
"The 10 victims will be remembered all over the park. There is no way we could do Juneteenth without lifting them up," Hassan said.
"We do have Fragrance Harris performing. She's the young lady who was working at Tops that day with her daughter. We have a violin group, Vibrant Strings, also performing. They're family members of the security guard that was working that day," Draffin said.
The Juneteenth Festival Board has also ramped up security so the community can feel safe attending the event.
"Community partners, law enforcement on all levels, is going to be helping us. Private security as well. We just want to make sure it's safe," Murray Holman, a Juneteenth Festival Board Member, said.
A safe celebration, in person, at MLK park after two years of virtual festivals.
"It's different. It's different. But I think that we can get beyond this and heal, and make this work to make our ancestors proud that we're handling it in a different way," Holman said.