Juneteenth celebrations will take place around Erie this week leading up to the holiday on June 19.
Officially known as Juneteenth National Independence Day and also sometimes called Freedom Day, it takes its name from a combination of the words “June” and “nineteenth.” It was on that date in 1865 that Union Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to tell enslaved African Americans of their freedom. Although President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of Jan. 1, 1863, had declared “all persons held as slaves” in states in rebellion against the United States to be free, some had remained enslaved until after the Civil War ended in 1865.
From 2021:Juneteenth holiday is a time to educate, reflect on America’s history
Although it was the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, Juneteenth didn’t become a legal public holiday until 2021 when President Joe Biden signed a bill passed by Congress that made June 19 a legal public holiday.
From 2021:Biden signs Juneteenth into a holiday
Here are some Juneteenth events we found taking place around Erie:
Juneteenth Pre-Game: Paint and Sip
June 15: 5-7 p.m., Flagship City Food Hall, 22 N. Park Row. Sip, paint and karaoke event by The Maker Mixers celebrating upcoming Juneteenth holiday with a drink ticket, Juneteenth-themed canvas and paint provided. Advance ticket purchase required. $30. bit.ly/Juneteenthpregame
Opinion from 2021:Juneteenth isn’t just a Black celebration. It should be a federal holiday
Erie’s Juneteenth Celebration
Erie’s official observance includes three days of activities. The overall event is hosted by Erie’s Juneteenth Celebration in collaboration with the Booker T. Washington Development & Education Center and Erie’s Black Wall Street.
June 17: 5-8 p.m., Pineapple Eddie Southern Bistro, 1402 W. 10th St. Juneteenth Mixer presented by Erie’s Black Wall Street and OpenedEyes. Opportunity for Black business owners and community members to connect to one another and local resources. Free to attend. bit.ly/Juneteenthmixer
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June 18: 11 a.m.-6 p.m., State Street from 12th to 13th streets. A block party will be held with more than 40 vendors, giveaways, bounce house and live music featuring The Breeze Band. Free.
June 19: Also Father’s Day, with dads being honored with gifts at various local churches.
Learn more at bit.ly/ErieJuneteenth.
June 17: 7 p.m., “An Evening with Sojourner Truth” portrayed by Cheryl Horton-Jon.
June 18: 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Kid Block Party and Vendors Market with storytelling, poetry, art fair, music and food. 1-5 p.m., live music. Performers include Ron Williams aka Preach Freedom, No Slave Name, Zeek Diamond, spoken word by the Rev. Mother Betty Harris, Yae Culture and Mike Jones.
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June 19: 11 a.m., Father’s Day worship service.
For information, call 814-449-0646.
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