SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Thousands of people showed up across the Bay Area Saturday in celebration of Juneteenth.
"I'm from here. I'm from Fillmore. I live in the East Bay now and it just really means a lot," said Darryl Smith, who was attending the Freedom Festival in San Francisco's Fillmore District.
The Fillmore District is steeped in African-American culture; in the 1940's it earned the nickname "Harlem of the west," and Darryl Smith wants his grandson to know it all.
"I'm going to try to teach him as much as I can, and I would just like him to know his history too because the past is very important for the present," said Smith.
Valerie Davison is one of dozens of vendors at the festival spanning eight blocks of Fillmore Street.
"It means a lot to me because I'm born and raised here and this is how I know it," said Valerie Davison, the owner of Valerie's Hosiery, and one of the dozens of vendors spanning eight blocks of Fillmore Street. "We're here, we're together, we're holding hands, we're talking, we're hugging."
And, among them was Mayor London Breed who was raised in the neighborhood.
"It's a way for us to come together and uplift our community, while also remembering the challenges that still exist, but also be happy and elevate one another," said Breed.
Across the bay in Oakland the Fam Bam Festival also drew thousands of people.
"To be able to celebrate it and acknowledge what we've been through is historic and should not be forgotten," said Ayodele Kinchen, Owner of Waist Beads by Ayodele.
"I know across the nation there's a lot of turmoil over what should be included in textbooks, in schools, in education, and in businesses, but preserving history is really important so that we know where we've come from and where we're going and we have sense and understanding of our purpose from learning from the past."
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