It is a celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation that stretches deep into the South. And it's rooted in Texas. On June 19th, 1865, with one third of texans living in slavery, the news came, Freedom at last. The next year, the first Juneteenth celebration was held and the tradition continues today. Organizers are preparing for a big festival that is full of new beginnings in Texarkana. "it is a part of our culture and history." Organizer Reggie Hicks says his crew is preparing for this weekend's festival. "We felt like this year was the year we needed to come back and really start putting it into a bigger perspective." There is a golf tournament, plenty of live music, food, and sporting tournaments. But it is also an outreach to the Black community. "It is time that we sit down as a community and start having a dialogue about some of these things that are effecting our community." Hicks says Saturday at 1pm there will be a Town Hall meeting. Economic development, crime and neighborhood safety, the role of the church in the community and arts and education will be discussed. The Juneteenth celebration ends on Sunday with a Gospel Extravaganza. It is free and everyone is invited. For more information call the Southwest Center at 903.223.3298.