ROCHESTER, N.Y. — East High School held its first Juneteenth celebration on Thursday.

The school kicked off its celebration with outdoor activities ahead of what is now a federal holiday on Saturday.

Students and staff took part in kickball, football, a Juneteenth flag painting and a parade.

Stephanie Bliss is the school counselor who organized the event. She says she also sent an in-depth history lesson on the holiday to history classes.

"It's such a big deal because we planned this before it was recognized," said Bliss. "That just happened two days ago. It is so important that it is now recognized. That piece is important because we have so much more to do. To say well if we didn't know about this then what else did we not know about? What else can we do to make sure our scholars know who they are? Know where they came from? So they can know where they are going."

President Joe Biden officially signed the bill establishing Juneteenth as a federal holiday on Thursday.