JOPLIN, Mo. — One of the longest lasting traditions in Southwest Missouri wrapped up this weekend.

Since Friday people have been taking part in the annual Joplin Emancipation Park Days Celebration in Ewert Park.

It’s a celebration shared by several communities across the country, highlighting the freeing of the slaves and African-American history and culture.

In Joplin the celebration usually falls on the weekend closest to August 4th.

According to organizers the celebration is believed to be the longest continually celebrated tradition in the city.

“I’ve been going to this event since I was a baby, my mother, my grandparents, and this has been going on for over 100 years,” says Chalise Cooper, Emancipation Celebration Committee Chairperson, “And it’s just always been a big family event, family reunion. Back then it was an African-American community coming together to celebrate freedom and we’re free, but now we’re teaching about African-American history, culture, achievement.”

Everything came to a close today with the annual car show.

And preparations have already started for next year.

Anyone wishing to get involved can contact Joplin Emancipation online.