Buffalo’s 36th consecutive Juneteenth Festival could not have asked for better parade weather on Saturday at Martin Luther King Jr. Park at the intersection of Best Street and Fillmore Avenue. With some light winds and slightly cloudy skies residents came out in full force to celebrate the city’s African American culture and heritage. Sunday residents continued to flock to the park, despite the slightly dodgier forecast.
The parade had dance groups, floats, cars and trucks all along its route. Open Buffalo shared space with People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH Buffalo) just past the turn off of Fillmore Avenue, to talk and reach out to attendees of the festival.
Billed as the third-largest celebration in the world, the Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo was started in 1976 according to the festival’s website “as a culturally relevant alternative to the country's Bicentennial Celebration.”
Originally held on Jefferson Avenue, the festival outgrew that location, and is now held in Martin Luther King Jr. Park, which includes the recently completed Splash Pad. Opened for residents on June 1, the Splash Pad cost $4.5 million and is the largest such structure in the state and the country.