Members of Minnesota's South Sudanese community are celebrating the first anniversary of their country's independence on Saturday in Mankato.
The celebration features dancing, music and speeches by South Sudanese community leaders.
Santino Deng, an adviser to the South Sudanese Task Force, says the event will commemorate the struggles and victories in the road to independence.
"It will be all-inclusive happiness," Deng says, "celebrating the freedom, celebrating the lives of those who have left us, who have fought for our freedom."
South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in July 2011 after a civil war that ran from 1983 to 2005.
Deng says around 3 million Sudanese died in the war. He said it was important to "remember those who sacrificed their lives for this freedom we are enjoying today."
The Mankato event is free and open to the public.