Photos: Kansas Citians celebrate during annual Juneteenth parade through 18th & Vine
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Kansas Citians lined the sidewalks for the annual JuneteenthKC Parade Saturday afternoon.
The parade started at Grove Park and ended in the 18th and Vine District. The sound of drums dominated the air as the Gateway Highsteppers Drill Team, based in Kansas City, Kansas, came through. Along the sidewalk, a child held still as an artist painted her face.
Glenda Bushnell was there with her son Travis Cal, his 6-year-old nephew “little Ryan,” and family friend Billy Donnell.
Bushnell used to bring Cal when he was a kid and Saturday felt nostalgic, she said. Cal said the best part for him was getting to truly appreciate the celebration as an adult.
Juneteenth commemorates the freedom of enslaved people. It’s the oldest national celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, with news that the enslaved were free. It’s also know as Freedom Day.
“We’ve come a long way and have got so much further to go. It saddens me because I don’t think in my lifetime I’m going to see that true emancipation, that true freedom that he might get to enjoy,” Bushnell said, pointing to little Ryan who was scooping purple snow cone into his mouth.
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