HOUSTON — The Houston and Galveston areas are no stranger to Juneteenth celebrations.
There are several events planned for this weekend with many of them being back in person for the first time since the pandemic.
Juneteenth is the day enslaved Texans learned they were free, specifically in Galveston.
Wednesday preps were underway at Emancipation Park for the 150th-anniversary celebration. This year the park is commemorating Juneteenth with a sold-out concert series.
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“We have concerts going over two days, community members have activation in the park selling their wears, we’re creating an outdoor food park,” said Ramon Manning, who is Board Chairman of the Emancipation Park Conversancy.
Manning says the event honors Juneteenth and the four formerly enslaved men who pulled together to buy the 10-acre piece of land in 1872 that became Emancipation Park.
"They did it to celebrate their freedom but not just out of being enslaved, they were sophisticated enough to understand that they needed a place to call their home, to celebrate, to come together."
Manning says they're happy to be back in person for the 150th anniversary.
The two-day event will take place on Saturday, June 18, and Sunday, June 19 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Mayor Turner’s Annual Acres Home Juneteenth Parade will be returning in person this year as well. The parade is set to start at the Arce’s Home Multi-Service Center on W. Montgomery. Saturday at 10 a.m.
Among organizations participating in the parade is the Houston Association of Black Journalists.
“It's really multi-generational when you think about it, how we all learn together, how we can all grow together but most importantly how we can celebrate and embrace one another,” Vannessa Wade, HABJ Parliamentarian.
Manning says Juneteenth is a celebration but also a time to look back at how far we’ve come.
"This is a great celebratory moment, however, it is a serious moment, and we need to reflect on our history on our culture."
KHOU 11 will be airing a special documentary Thursday, titled "Juneteenth: The Pursuit of Economic Equality," which highlights the lasting financial impact of Juneteenth on Black Americans.
Showtime is at 7 p.m.
You can watch on KHOU 11 and stream the documentary for free on KHOU 11+ through your Roku or Amazon FireTV app, or watch on KHOU.com.