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PHOTOS: Chicagoans Celebrate Juneteenth With Food, Family And Mobile Parade

The event included discussions on the significance of Juneteenth and spoken word poetry performed by local artists and organizers.

Kaleigh Jones of Roseland holds up her fist during the Juneteenth Celebration ReBuild Black Wall Street in Washington Park on Friday, June 19, 2020. | Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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WASHINGTON PARK — There were events across the city and online to celebrate Juneteenth on Friday. In Washington Park, dozens gathered to cook, give out food to those in need and bring Black Chicagoans together for a moment of joy.

The event, organized by Haute Society, kicked off its first annual Mobile Parade, where cars decorated with flags and posters traveled south on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive following discussions on the significance of Juneteenth and spoken word poetry performed by local artists and organizers. During the caravan, Chicagoan Adam Hollingsworth – belovedly known as the DreadheadCowBoy – was seen riding his horse.

A car dons Juneteenth decorations during the Juneteenth Celebration ReBuild Black Wall Street in Washington Park on Friday, June 19, 2020. | Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Chicagoan Adam Hollingsworth, aka the “Dreadhead Cowboy,” seen on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive during the Juneteenth Celebration ReBuild Black Wall Street in Bronzeville on Friday, June 19, 2020. | Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

Event organizers said, “the current climate in Chicago has left many residents with emotional and financial stress,” and the gathering’s goal was to bridge this gap.

Food was shared throughout the event, as those present enjoyed lunches with inspiring words scrawled across the brown-paper bags, as well as nachos, snow cones and a big cookout.

Ashley Smith of Haute Society poses for a photo during the Juneteenth Celebration ReBuild Black Wall Street in Bronzeville on Friday, June 19, 2020. | Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

At one moment during the barbecue, Ashley Smith of Haute Society excitedly said the gathering was beyond everything she dreamed about. In the presence of friends and family, the group of Chicagoans gathered at Washington Park ate, talked and danced as the sun lowered over the lawn.

The remainder of the food was distributed to those in need following the event.

Though yet to be recognized as a holiday locally and nationwide, Juneteenth is a holiday that celebrates the day in 1865 when troops arrived in Texas to free enslaved Americans — more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

The holiday is always celebrated on June 19.

Check out more photos from the event here:

People pose for a photo with a banner that reads “Our parents met at Juneteenth 1992 in protest to Rodney King’s beating” during the Juneteenth Celebration ReBuild Black Wall Street in Bronzeville on Friday, June 19, 2020. | Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Destiny Jennings and Kayleigh Jones pose for a photo during the Juneteenth Celebration ReBuild Black Wall Street in Washington Park on Friday, June 19, 2020. | Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Ashley Smith making a sno cone during the Juneteenth Celebration ReBuild Black Wall Street in Washington Park on Friday, June 19, 2020. | Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
A car dons decorations for Juneteenth during the Juneteenth Celebration ReBuild Black Wall Street in Washington Park on Friday, June 19, 2020. | Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Ashley Smith of Haute Society serves sno cones during the Juneteenth Celebration ReBuild Black Wall Street in Washington Park on Friday, June 19, 2020. | Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Kason Oliver and Christina Dunmars take a selfie on a motorcycle during the Juneteenth Celebration ReBuild Black Wall Street in Washington Park on Friday, June 19, 2020. | Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Ashley Smith of Haute Society shows off a raised fist design in her hair by @LegendaryCutsInc during the Juneteenth Celebration ReBuild Black Wall Street in Washington Park on Friday, June 19, 2020. | Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Cortez James of Woodlawn purchases ice cream during the Juneteenth Celebration ReBuild Black Wall Street in Washington Park on Friday, June 19, 2020. | Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Harold Banks of Englewood mans the grill during the Juneteenth Celebration ReBuild Black Wall Street in Washington Park on Friday, June 19, 2020. | Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
A person waves as cars don Juneteenth decorations during the Juneteenth Celebration ReBuild Black Wall Street in Bronzeville on Friday, June 19, 2020. | Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
A grill billows with charcoal smoke during the Juneteenth Celebration ReBuild Black Wall Street in Washington Park on Friday, June 19, 2020. | Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
People gather in Washington Park for a barbecue during the Juneteenth Celebration ReBuild Black Wall Street in Washington Park on Friday, June 19, 2020. | Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Cars don Juneteenth decorations during the Juneteenth Celebration ReBuild Black Wall Street in Bronzeville on Friday, June 19, 2020. | Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
A child walks past firecracker smoke during the Juneteenth Celebration ReBuild Black Wall Street in Washington Park on Friday, June 19, 2020. | Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Messages of love and support on takeaway bags of food during the Juneteenth Celebration ReBuild Black Wall Street in Washington Park on Friday, June 19, 2020. | Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Larry Brooks of Chatham dances to “Natural High” by Bloodstone during the Juneteenth Celebration ReBuild Black Wall Street in Washington Park on Friday, June 19, 2020. | Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago