Charleston is known for its fantastic food, beautiful beaches, and copious numbers of boat shoes. But what really attracts those farmer’s-tan-having mainlanders to our fair city is Charleston’s relationship with history. We don’t just throw up a plaque here and a museum there, or shuffle visored tourists along back alley history tours. Charleston and its people live and breath history.

This Saturday provides an opportunity to do just that. The 14th Annual Juneteenth Freedom Festival celebrates and honors the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, a watershed moment that made full abolition of slavery a possibility. Join Coca Cola and the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History as they sponsor this all-day free event. Children and parents, historians and novices, tourists and natives will all find something to satiate their thirst for entertainment.

Music and poetry will fill Azalea Drive as you watch African dance and get your face painted. Enjoy great barbeque while watching African drummers. Sip sweat tea as you get your copy of Behind God’s Back signed by Herb Frazier. Or just lose the shoes and spend the day in the jump castle. This year’s Juneteenth Festival is a chance for Charlestonians to do what they do best, have some fun, and take a deep breath of history.

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