AUSTIN, Texas — Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas.
Juneteenth marks the day on June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers landed at Galveston and reported that the Civil War was over and slavery had ended. Although the Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves on Jan. 1, 1863, the word did not reach Texas for two more years.
Juneteenth was declared an official state holiday in Texas in 1980 and, every year, several organizations in the Austin area celebrate this day with a parade, live music and more.
Here's a list of some Juneteenth celebrations taking place in Austin over the next two weekends:
The Georgetown Cultural Citizen Memorial Association will host a virtual event on Saturday, June 12, and an in-person event on Saturday, June 19, to celebrate Juneteenth.
The virtual event from noon to 1 p.m. will feature a panel of speakers addressing education, health and justice for all.
The in-person Juneteenth celebration begins at noon. The event will be at 801 West St., next to the historical Shotgun House. Featured guests include the Saving Grace Praise Team, gospel singer Chad Jackson, and keynote speaker Wesley Jarmon.
Both events are free and open to the public. To register for the online event, visit gccmatx.com/community.
The Greater East Austin Youth Association will be holding a Juneteenth parade on June 19 starting at 10 a.m. The parade will begin at MLK Jr. Boulevard and Salina Street and will end on Chestnut Avenue. The parade will feature live music, dances and more attractions.
For the official parade route, click here.
Georgetown community leaders will host a Pre-Juneteenth Vaccine Education Event and Clinic at Millennium Youth Complex on Saturday, June 12. Elected leaders and community partners will provide education about the COVID-19 vaccine, along with free food and resources to attendees.
Attendees will have the opportunity to obtain a first or second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. No appointments are required and anyone age 12 and above are qualified. However, the consent of a parent or guardian is required for ages 12-17, and the parent or guardian must be present when administering the vaccine.
The City of Kyle will host the Dialogue for Peace and Progress 2021 – Celebrating Juneteenth on Friday, June 18, starting at 7 p.m.
The Dialogues for Peace and Progress event series takes place in conjunction with Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month and Juneteenth. The series works to unite community members and leaders for open and honest conversations to raise awareness for issues faced by minorities in the City of Kyle and facilitate change.
The Dialogues for Peace and Progress event will be held in person at Kyle City Hall, 110 W. Center St., and will be streamed online through Kyle10, the City’s YouTube channel, and the City of Kyle Facebook page.
Hays County will host a series of events to celebrate Juneteenth this year. The City will hold voter registration drives every Saturday in June, an art show, and even a market day featuring local vendors.
For more information and dates, click here.
The LBJ School of Public Affairs and the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at The University of Texas at Austin will host its inaugural Juneteenth Freedom Summit: Birth of a New American Freedom. Speakers will discuss education, housing, wealth and why Juneteenth matters now more than ever, amid a national political awakening on racial justice and equity.
It will take place on Saturday, June 19, at 11 a.m. Registration is required and the event is virtual. Click here for more information.
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