SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — This weekend, Juneteenth celebrations are underway in the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry.

June 19th officially became recognized as a national holiday last year and commemorates the end of slavery in the United States more than 150 years ago.

On Saturday, hundreds came together at Wells Park in Savannah for the Daughters of Mary Magdalene’s Juneteenth festival. Live performances, food and local vendors were all part of the festivities, meant to showcase the talent of Savannah’s African-American community.

Festivalgoers said it’s also important to honor their ancestors and never forget where they came from.

“I mean just the whole slave trade, I can’t say that’s a proud moment for me as a Black African-American,” said Bernita Wilkerson, vendor with Conscious Cup. “But I do know we must revere our ancestors and make sure that we never ever ever forget. And at the end of the day, we must have unity here in Savannah and everywhere really.”

Among the honorees at Saturday’s festival were award-winning comedian, Mr. Akintudente and Savannah native, Big Boi, from the famous rap group Outkast.