The events went on despite heavy rains throughout the day.By Bryant Reed

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Rain or shine, Juneteenth celebrations continued today across the area.

On this Juneteenth, vendors and organizers say this is about bringing communities closer as well as teaching and being open to learning, so we can create a better future.

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Despite heavy rain at times, Juneteenth festivities went on Saturday throughout Pittsburgh.

In Pittsburgh’s Allentown neighborhood, Hilltop United Methodist Church was one of a few spots to mark the day and also celebrate its diverse congregation.

“Our goal is just to make Juneteenth a celebration of community and diversity here. And in doing that, to pull the resources that we have to be involved and sharing and bringing people together just to better the community that we have,” said Pastor Dylan Parson with Hilltop United Methodist Church.

In Downtown Pittsburgh at Economic Impact Plaza, 75 Black-owned businesses fought through bad weather to promote Freedom Day.

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“Our ancestors have fought so long for this great opportunity today to come into fruition,” said Delia Lennon-Winstead with Demara Lyn Studio. “This is an honor to them, the past, an honor for the present and future generations for the Black culture to be known and to be witnessed.”

Demara Lyn Studio used the day to not only promote Black businesses but also teach lessons about Black culture.

“Knowledge is power,” said Demara Winstead with Demara Lyn Studio. “There’s books. When people come through, sit and talk with them, educate them on Kwanza, how to celebrate it, what to do to celebrate it, what it means to celebrate it.”

The consensus today seemed to be that while there’s still more work to be done to bridge the equality gap.

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They say this is a good start — just knowing Pittsburgh and the rest of the country is trying to finally take steps forward in healing the divide.