This year's celebration is the biggest so far, with prayer breakfast Monday morning, an outdoor festival at Freedom Plaza and marchers rolling up Pennsylvania Avenue to mark the 150th anniversary of D.C. Emancipation day.
D.C.'s elected officials mostly black, were leading the parade. Though since the city made it a holiday in 2005, the celebrations have been hit and miss. It's biggest supporter, council member Vincent Orange says it's back to stay:
"Even the mayor says we're going to do this, we're going to keep it going, so I think we've come through," Orange says.
The day represents the date President Abraham Lincoln signed the D.C. Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862. The act freed some 3,100 slaves in the District of Columbia. The 16th president signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves in the South just over eight months later.
Emancipation Day Parade and Festival
The Metropolitan Police Department has announced road closures for the Emancipation Day Parade on Monday.
The following streets will be closed from 8 am to 11 pm: Constitution Avenue, NW and the surrounding streets will be closed for staging for the parade between 7th Street and west cross over at Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Pennsylvania Avenue, NW and the surrounding streets will be closed between 12th and 14th Streets, NW E Street, NW will be closed from 13th and 14th Streets, NW (for vendors) 12th Street, NW will also be closed between E Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
The following Streets will be closed from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm for fireworks display. 12th Street, NW will also be closed between E Street and Constitution Avenue, NW