2021 The Continued Evolution of Juneteenth #46
1st New York State & City of Buffalo Official Holiday
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The Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo was started in 1976 by B.U.I.L.D., a community-based organization, as a culturally relevant alternative to the country's Bicentennial Celebration. The group blocked off part of Jefferson Avenue -- the "Main Street" of Buffalo's Black community -- for a weekend celebration. Murals were painted and vendors set up booths to sell ethnic foods and wares -- entertainment and festivity were abundant. After several years, the Juneteenth Festival outgrew Jefferson Avenue. It is now held in Martin Luther King Jr. Park at the intersection of Best Street and Fillmore Avenue. Juneteenth Festival Inc. received 501(c) (3) status in 1985. In 2000, the name of the organization added an A.K.A: Juneteenth of Buffalo, to reflect its broader mission.
Juneteenth Festival, Inc. exists exclusively for charitable and educational purposes. Staffed mostly by volunteers, our mission is to actively preserve and promote the broad spectrum of African American Heritage through educational and cultural activities that will benefit the community as a whole. Juneteenth Festival, Inc. partners with existing organizations with similar community-based objectives to help achieve our mission.