HOUSTON — Emancipation Park is celebrating 150 years since it was purchased by a group of former slaves in 1872. Community members in the Third and Fourth Wards raised about $1,000 to purchase 10 acres of park in order to host Juneteenth Celebrations.
The park was donated to the City of Houston in 1916, after changes to the tax codes and issues pertaining to ownership. Originally an open field with a pavilion, the Great Depression's Public Works Administration constructed a recreation center, swimming pool and bathhouse on the grounds in 1938.
The park experienced another renovation in 1974, which would be it's last major update until TIRZ Almeda #7, Friends of Emancipation Park, and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, was selected to work on the project along with M2L Associates.
Renovations were completed in 2017, and today Emancipation Park is home to numerous facilities and programs. Park-goers can make use of the swimming pool, basketball courts, recreation center, or the education, financial, and wellness programs.
Emancipation Park is hosting their annual Juneteenth Celebration this Saturday and Sunday. The festival takes place from 4 pm to 10 pm both days. For free tickets, visit epconservancy.org
KHOU 11 will be airing a special on the history of Juneteenth. 'Juneteenth: The Pursuit of Economic Equality' will air this Thursday at 7 pm.