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June 13 @ 11:31 pm
Enjoy Juneteenth festivities at Jack Johnson Park, a community park dedicated in November 2012 with a life-size statue in his honor. It is operated by the Old Central Cultural Center Board of Directors.
About Galveston’s Celebration
When you head to Galveston this June, you’ll be coming home where it all began as the island hosts several days of festivities to celebrate Juneteenth – a holiday that originated in this historic beach town.
This year marks the 152nd anniversary of Juneteenth, which will be celebrated with parades, festivals, picnics, African-American heritage exhibits, reenactments, concerts and more.
On June 17, the island will host a Juneteenth parade – beginning at 17th and Strand streets, and ending at Menard Park (2222 28th Street). The parade will feature festive floats, entertainers and bands and will end with a fireworks show.
Returning for its second year, the island will host the Galveston Crawfish Festival June 16-18 at Kempner Park as part of its Juneteenth festivities. The event will include crawfish and food vendors, a Kids’ Zone and live music from Zydeco and blues artists. For details, visit http://gccrawfishfestival.com.
Finally, the Galveston Juneteenth Coalition will host the 38th annual Al Edwards Emancipation Proclamation Reading and Prayer Breakfast at 8:30 a.m. on June 19 at the historic Ashton Villa – the location of the island’s official Juneteenth monument. And, Reedy Chapel A.M.E. Church will commemorate the first known Juneteenth celebration in U.S. history at 6 p.m. June 19 with its annual march from the steps of the Old Galveston County Courthouse to the church at 2015 Broadway Ave. The public is welcome to participate.
A wide variety of events will take place throughout the month for Galveston’s 2017 Juneteenth celebration. For a list of upcoming events, visit www.galveston.com/juneteenth.
Many people think slavery ended on September 22, 1862 – the date Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. In reality, many slaves weren’t freed until much later when news of the proclamation reached their towns. The last of those slaves lived in the South and were freed on June 19, 1865 after the Emancipation Proclamation was read on a harbor pier in Galveston, Texas. This date eventually became known as “Juneteenth.” While celebrations were long held in Galveston and various parts of the country in earlier years, Texas lead the way in making Juneteenth an official state holiday in 1980.Today, Juneteenth is celebrated in more than 40 states throughout the country.