BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — Juneteenth honors the arrival of Union soldiers in Galveston, Texas in 1865, which happened after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued in 1863. The troops went there to enforce the proclamation.

“Some people call it Emancipation Day some people call it Jubilee Day but Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom,” said Kas Williams, keynote speaker at Brookings Juneteenth.

The Brookings Juneteenth Planning Committee organized the third annual event in collaboration with the Brookings Human Rights Commission.

“It gives the community a wonderful place to congregate amongst all types of different people,” said Nieema Thasing, chair of Brookings Human Rights.

The event featured speakers, readings, a fashion show, and a dance. The goal was to bring the community together for celebration and open dialogue.

“We continue to be open to educating people in the area of diversity and we honor all of our diverse cultures that are here,” Thasing said.

“Diversity is a source of strength in Brookings it adds value and depth and richness to our community,” said Dianne Nagy, Vice Chair of Brookings Human Rights Commission.

“It’s important for our young people to see what unity looks like, to see what unity looks like in action. When you look around at today’s event, everybody’s here: Black, White, Brown, everybody in between, all people of different faiths are here because, if we are a county about freedom, why not celebrate everyone’s freedom?” Williams said.

The name Juneteenth is a mix of the word June with nineteenth. Sioux Falls will have a Juneteenth event this coming Saturday.