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Juneteenth celebrated in Omaha as federal holiday for first time

Omaha locals are celebrating Juneteenth as a federal holiday for the first time
Published: Jun. 19, 2022 at 12:04 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Juneteenth is here, and with that, a variety of events were held in celebration.

People in Omaha are celebrating the first year of Juneteenth being an official federal holiday.

Festival organizer Alajia McKizia says the Juneteenth Joy Fest was held Saturday in anticipation of the holiday.

“So there is a free Black arts and cultural festival here at the fabric lab. Basically, we wanted to bring the community together and celebrate Juneteenth and to honor all the amazing artists we have in Omaha,” McKizia said.

All different forms of art were at the festival. Whether it’s something you can see or hear. It’s an event to help give these artists a platform and a reason to continue to call Omaha home.

“I think giving young talented artists an opportunity to share their work and feel affirmed and supported by their city will give them an incentive to stay in Omaha.”

Next door was a steampunk tea party. People are able to see art, listen to live music and much more. And while enjoying the event, many people are wearing steampunk fashion.

“You see a lot of different people with different types of gears and cogs, and African elements and African American tributes for Juneteenth in their costumes and in their clothes,” said event organizer Jade Rogers.

Rogers says the tea party is unique because it’s a celebration and a tribute.

“We are celebrating the people who created the holiday. Those people that were free or formerly enslaved right after slavery created this as a celebration to honor the people that didn’t make it or celebrate the freedom they did have.”

And with everyone having all different kinds of events in north Omaha over the weekend, both event organizers say it’s special.

“I think it just contributes more to the culture recognition that Omaha deserves. And yeah there’s fun things to do here and a lot of talent here and that we can come together and be peaceful and have fun.”

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