MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — On Saturday, there was a Juneteenth Celebration at Charlie’s Place in Myrtle Beach. Juneteenth is a federal holiday to celebrate the freedom of African American Slaves in 1865.

“Juneteenth is very special im thankful it’s being acknowledged now,” said Kevin Emily, the owner of Paddle Palace.

A participant in the celebration, Chris Campbell, said this is an important holiday.

“It’s the day they freed all the African American from slavery but it’s not just for African Americans, it’s for the whole world and for all nationalities because we had a chance to be at peace and be free, especially in this Booker T. Washington community, said Chris Campbell

This was Kevin Emily’s first Juneteenth celebration as a vendor and he said it was a refreshing experience.

“It’s good to see people smiling and happy especially in these times. I’m very thankful for that, it’s safe.”

Safety is a key message for an advocate group at the event, Moms Demand Action.

The Moms Demand Action group is a grassroots organization that helps educate the community about gun violence, safety and proper storage.

“Gun violence disproportionately affects black communities, as opposed to white communities. And so we want to make sure that the communities that are most heavily affected by gun violence, know that they have a place to have a voice and a place where they can find resources that they might not otherwise have, said Caitlin Czeh, with Moms Demand Action.