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Juneteenth is now an official holiday in Burlington, as the city prepares for its second annual celebration

A group of people singing in front of microphones.
Marlon Hyde
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VPR
The Lake Champlain Mass Choir opened Juneteenth at Sunday’s Gospel Brunch, held at City Hall Park in honor of Black fathers.

Burlington’s second annual Juneteenth celebration kicks off this weekend with a new theme: love in the face of adversity.

The city's Racial Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Office will host the celebration of African American culture, which will feature musical performances, art installations and educational opportunities.

A white background with a tree with green yellow and red hearts. It reads: Juneteenth. A love story. Burlington, Vermont. Empowerment, education, and entertainment.
Burlington Racial Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Office
/
Courtesy
Burlington’s second annual Juneteenth celebration will feature panels, concerts, food and more.

Juneteenth is the commemoration and celebration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

This year's celebration has been extended into a weekend of events.

More from VPR: 'Best Thing In The World': Vermont Celebrates Juneteenth

An exhibit honoring the legacy of writer and activist Alice Walker will open at the Flynn on Thursday to kick off the celebration.

Iconic activist and educator Angela Davis will headline Saturday's marquee event, called the Black Experience 2022. The festival-like environment will include programming on culture, community, and education.

The Lake Champlain Mass Choir will open Sunday’s Gospel Brunch, held at City Hall Park in honor of Black fathers. Other events include the Black Artist Market, the Black Healing Village and a kids zone hosted by VPR and Vermont-PBS. Storyteller Ferene Paris Meyer will deliver Sunday's keynote address.

More from VPR: WATCH: Storyteller Ferene Paris Meyer on Black joy as birthright

Event planner Casey Ellerby says her team is excited to build on the foundation set last year by Tyestia Green, who formerly directed the city's Racial Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Office.

“Having everyone just band together and really help execute this now. I feel like this is a family. This is the love. This is what Tyestia started. And this is what it is supposed to be, moving forward,” Ellerby said.

On Sunday, other towns across Vermont will also celebrate Juneteenth with food and music.

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