KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – This weekend, people across the Tri-Cities are celebrating Juneteenth, the holiday that commemorates the emancipation of slaves.

Hundreds came to Kingsport to celebrate the historical day that has special meaning to them.

“I believe there are about nine events throughout the region, but here in Kingsport, we want people to know that we believe in equality, inclusion, diversity,” organizer Bishop Ronnie Collins said.

Performing, speaking and remembering black history was all a part of the celebration held outside of V.O. Dobbins Community Center.

“People when they think of the Tri-Cities they might not think that there is a significant African American population,” organizer Andrew Yacinthe said. “There is a lasting population of African Americans in this community.”

Bishop Ronnie Collins said Juneteenth is all about bringing that community together.

“We have people who have gone through a lot here in Kingsport, and this whole region trying to be black and trying to find out what does forever free really mean,” Collins said.

Festivalgoers said they’re hoping the event continues for years to come because it’s a way to educate their children and the next generation.

“It’s a positive thing, and it really does need to continue to show support to the young ones that are growing up that don’t understand what’s going on as well,” Thomas said.

Collins and Yacinthe said the event plans to be back next year, and hopefully, bigger than ever.