Juneteenth Festival Celebrates Progress Made & Opportunity For Growth

DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Film helped celebrate Juneteenth in the Five Points Neighborhood – once regarded as “The Harlem of the West.” The city of Denver kicked off its inaugural Juneteenth State Holiday two-day street festival on Saturday.

Film organizers showcased “Summer of Soul.”

“We just want to reach out to a broader community and let people know that we exist and have counter programing for just about anyone,” said Seth Degler, Denver Film Volunteer coordinator.

(credit: CBS)

Eliseleana Span marked history as an artists joining the celebration.

“On the painting it will say ‘Harlem of the West’ that was what this area was coined and phased with. Generational theme with three portraits there, trying to show how we are continuing to build the community up,” she said.

She says while progress is being made, more work is still needed.

“Of course we have more work to do, but it is a move in the right direction and being nationally recognized is huge, and definitely pays homage to the African American history that has built America basically.”

City officials say previous years of celebrations in Five Points have earned national recognition.

“Our 2022 festival is distinctly special as it’s also the state’s first paid holiday honoring Juneteenth. It’s a momentous milestone in our historical recognition as African Americans and as such we’ve got an even bigger range of free programming and activities for all the family,” said Norman Harris, the president of the Juneteenth Music Festival.