By Adrienne Moore

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A celebration of freedom is underway in Sacramento in honor of Juneteenth. The newest federal holiday, this Sunday, recognizes the end of slavery in the United States.

Uplift and inspire: the annual Juneteenth festival focuses on the future while reflecting on its past.

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“It really shows people really have a hunger to unite in a way that is powerful, that is a representation of us as a people,” Sacramento resident Rochelle Anderson said.

Juneteenth, Inc. hosted the Gospel Under The Stars concert, helping Sacramento celebrate June 19, 1865, the day when enslaved people in Texas were declared free.

For Michael Davis, the historic day isn’t complete without a cookout.

“To me, I want to make the people happy, come here and eat some nice burgers,” he said.

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The food was filling bellies and hearts with the goal of bridging the nation’s racial divide.

“This history will hopefully open up the conversation on Black-White relations. Remember, Juneteenth isn’t just Black history, it’s American history,” said Gary Simon, the executive director of Sacramento Juneteenth, Inc.

Many say progress has been made but more still needs to be done. The hope: events like these encourage the next generation to get involved.

“You’re going to be us one day, and you need to pay it forward,” Anderson said.

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Sacramento’s Juneteenth Festival runs through the weekend. On Saturday, festivities continue in William Land Park from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Adrienne Moore