Commemorating the end of slavery, Galveston’s Juneteenth Celebration offers many different events spread out over many days in June, including parades, festivals, picnics, and even some re-enactments of the proclamation of emancipation. Galveston is where it all began 151 years ago in June and Galveston continues to celebrate loudly and proudly each year.
Before Television, Internet and Smart Phones
Although the day the Emancipation Proclamation was issued was actually on September 22 in 1862, it took a few years for the news to reach the southern states. Without television, internet, and phone services, it took word of mouth for the news to travel through the states. On June 19, 1865 the proclamation was read at Harbor Pier in Galveston, marking the true end of slavery as the last of the slaves were finally freed. This date became known as Juneteenth, celebrated by unofficial festivals and parties until 1980. In 1980, Texas made Juneteenth an official state holiday, and as of today, 40 other states have followed our lead!
Celebrating Juneteenth in Galveston
History repeats itself every year in June with grand celebrations that include a Jazz festival, a parade that reenacts the historic reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, and some of the best food you will find this side of the Mississippi. Attend a prayer breakfast at one of our local churches, a picnic in the park at Wright Cuney Park, or celebrate at the Shiloh A.M.E. Church Juneteenth Block Party. It doesn’t matter how you celebrate as long as you participate in this historic festival that takes place the weekend of June 17th.