June 19, which is shortened to Juneteenth, is the official celebration of when Texas slaves were notified they were freed.
The event marks the announcement of the end of the Civil War and enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation ending slavery in the US on June 19, 1865.
Though the Emancipation Proclamation became official January 1, 1863, it had little impact on Texas due to a minimal number of Union troops present to enforce it.
Organizers said every American should feel that same freedom.
The African American Cultural Society held its annual Juneteenth celebration Saturday, June 17, at its center at 4422 N. U.S. 1.
On June 19, 1865, the news of the end of the Civil War and President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation reached Galveston, Texas at the hands of Maj.
Coordinators believe understanding this history allows for a better future.
The event also stressed the importance of Juneteenth.
Wright paid for the crowns, and for much of the second annual Juneteenth celebration.
Juneteenth celebrations also served as a history lesson for a younger generation Saturday in Tyler.
The festival brings people from across the area to celebrate the Emancipation Proclamation.
Numerous fans of the holiday who showed up for the parade said this year, more than ever, it is important to celebrate freedom.
"Can you imagine the folks back then, saw the vision to purchase this property for $800, and look at where we are today", Turner said.
Most events commemorating the day were actually celebrated the weekend prior however. "It finally got down here and we ought to be enjoying this time where God allowed us to be free". "This is such a critical event that takes place, it's about the African-American heritage, our culture".
"It's an important celebration for African Americans all over the country", said Ursula Davis, a professor at Bergen Community College, as a band played in the background.