Locals Celebrate 25th Annual Juneteenth Celebration

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RENO, Nev. -- Locals gathered at Wingfield Park Sunday to celebrate the emancipation of the last slaves in the United States. It's called Juneteenth. June 19 marks the official celebration, but locals got a head-start on the festivities this year.

"It kind of comes a full circle at these events. You get to celebrate where we've been and how far we've come and also looking toward the future," Sherria Thomas, Access for Community & Cultural Education Programs & Training (A.C.C.E.P.T) spokesperson said.

This event marks the end of slavery. Juneteenth recognizes the contributions African-Americans have made to society since 1865.

"Recently, I just got my PhD, so it means a lot to kind of celebrate the history, the people that paid the price for me to get to where I'm at," she said.

It's the 25th year the Northern Nevada Black Cultural Awareness Society (NNBCAS) has put on the event, in hopes to remind the public that freedom comes at a price.

"As a child, I didn't fully understand slavery but I saw its effect and as an African-American woman in 2013 to be able to have opportunity to be educated to raise my children free and understand that slavery is in the past and we are moving forward," Deborah Gamble, president of NNBCAS said. "It feels wonderful."

Gamble homes events like this in the future can shine a light on progress and help strengthen communities across the nation.

"We're all connected; it's all of our history," she said. "Very many people came here from different cultures across the seas for different reasons but bottom line, we're all here in this one giant melting pot."