MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - Joyous celebrations across Miami-Dade County marked the first time the country is observing Juneteenth as a federal holiday.

From Miami Gardens to Miami Beach to even Florida International University, revelers said they have a good reason to rejoice.

“The fact that we’re now a federal holiday, we have much to celebrate,” said a woman at an event in Miami Gardens.

“This is really a good day, total celebration,” said another woman.

Over at Calder Casino, Black business owners joined forces to celebrate the nation’s newest federal holiday with food, fun and music.

“This is like a party in Miami or all over the nation, to be honest,” said the woman at the Miami Gardens event.

Juneteenth, or June 19th, represents the day in 1865 when slaves found out they were free.

That was the theme at one event in Miami.

“We always talk about celebrating the Fourth of July, but Juneteenth is the original celebration of freedom for African Americans,” said an organizer.

In Northwest Miami-Dade, Marlins players and alumni used Juneteenth to give back. They spruced up and did landscaping at the Historic Hampton House.

“It’s such an important place. Jackie Robinson has been here, Muhammad Ali,” said an organizer. “We want to make sure we restore and maintain this place for centuries and years to come.”

Miami Beach officials also did their part during the city’s second annual celebration. Among those in attendance were local leaders and Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

At FIU, meanwhile, the university marked its first Juneteenth event.

“Happy Juneteenth!” revelers screamed in unison.

Organizers brought out the band and singers to honor a day dedicated to celebrating the end of slavery.

Back in Miami Gardens, some said that although this is a special day, more still needs to be done.

“It’s a very small step, and we’ll take it, but there’s so much more that we need to do,” said a woman.

“We want more to come, but inch by inch is a six, so this is a great start,” said the woman at the Miami Gardens event. “I’m very grateful, I’m very excited, I’m very happy, but we’ve still got further ways to go.”

For more information about Juneteenth events in South Florida, click here.

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