A tradition that dates back to when slaves in Texas discovered that they had been liberated by the emancipation Proclamation has taken root and grown rapidly in Denver, Colorado. The recent Juneteenth parade and festival is an important event for many in the African American community and is a great opportunity for folks all around the city and metro area to come together and celebrate culture at least one day every year.

The celebration in Denver is famous for many reasons, not least among them the assortment of different food vendors that show up to cook food popular in the South. You don’t have to go far to get a tasty brisket sandwich, a side of cornbread or hush puppies, a bowl of jambalaya, a side of fried okra, or even a tall glass of Texas sweet tea. The consolidation of this magnificent variety of foods into one park in Denver on a hot summer weekend brings out thousands of people every year.

More important is the showcasing of African American culture through music, dance, and art as well as black-owned businesses and community programs that aim to support African American communities. Oftentimes throughout the year, it can be difficult for an African American-owned business or artist to be treated fairly at trade shows and at venues across the country. Juneteenth in Denver is one small opportunity for everyone to feel welcome, and that’s something we can all get behind.