Elmira, N.Y. (WENY)-- It's been 158 years since the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free. Now, we have a federal holiday celebrating black people's freedom, history, and contributions to our society.  

'' Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom, diversity, information, and unity across the country. African American History is a part of American History - is exactly what we want. Enjoy the diverse part of this celebration and just see what others in the community are doing. It's about learning and educating yourself,'' said Anita Lewis - Chief Development Officer for Elmira Economic Opportunity Program. 

On Saturday, June 17th from noon to 4 p.m., the Economic Opportunity Program is hosting its Juneteenth celebrations at Ernie Davis Park. The event is said to be filled with food and entertainment from locals. 

'' We have some food vendors like Taste of Jamaica, CFJP Bistro, Las Panchos, Boricana, and J&B  Bulldog. We have ice cream vendors and an Italian Ice Vendor. There will be local people performing like Isaiah Smallwood. Local vendors will be also selling crafts, jewelry, and glass products, '' said Anita Lewis. 

Organizers say is a great opportunity to bring people together and honor the past. Anyone who wants to be involved in next year's celebrations whether through entertainment or vending can sign up at the event.