BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Last year, President Joe Biden made Juneteenth, a combination of the words June and Nineteenth, a federal holiday.

“Jim Justice, he just last year piggybacked on what Biden did and now it’s considered a state holiday,” Tina Pannell, president of the Juneteenth Multicultural Festival, said.

People headed to Shelter One at New River Park in Beckley to honor the 18th Juneteenth Celebration and Barbeque with hotdogs, burgers, vendors, and community. Pannell said Juneteenth is not just an opportunity to celebrate, but also to educate others and learn.

“It’s our duty to dialogue and if we aren’t dialoging about it, then we’ll all be in the dark about our historical education,” Pannell said.

Pannell, who discovered Juneteenth when she was 30, said not many people actually know about the holiday.

“I can go to the store and ask somebody do they know what Juneteenth is and they don’t know,” Pannell said. “It’s important to dialogue about education, healing, and just celebrating our independence day.”