Communities throughout the Brazos Valley will be celebrating Juneteenth during this week, from Hearne to Brenham.
Juneteenth, now a federal holiday, celebrates the announcement of the end of slavery in the United States.
Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger and Union troops arrived in Galveston on June 19, 1865, to announce the end of the Civil War, reading General Orders, No. 3 that stated, “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. ”The announcement sparked many celebrations as more than 250,000 enslaved people enjoyed freedom, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation and two months after Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender.
The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum will kick off Juneteenth celebrations at 9 am Wednesday at Lincoln Recreation Center. The activities will include the Freedom Walk and storytelling from Toni Simmons.
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The Freedom Walk will take place from 9-10 am beginning at Lincoln Recreation Center. That will be followed by Simmons presenting “Dancing for Freedom.” The storytelling will “explore the tradition of dancing in African-American culture and folklore from Africa to America to Emancipation. ”
Pizza will be provided for all participants following Simmons’ presentation.
The event is free, but people are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 979-691-4006 to make reservations.
The Brazos Valley African American Heritage and Cultural Society will host its annual celebration with a Gospel Fest on Thursday and a parade and Blues Fest on Saturday.
“What we wanted to impress upon the community was that let us not forget the history of why we have and celebrate Juneteenth,” Harold Eaton, president of the Brazos Valley African American Heritage and Cultural Society, said. and if you don’t keep the legacy going, people have a tendency to forget. ”
The event’s Gospel Fest runs from 6-7:30 pm at Neal Recreation Center where multiple local gospel groups will perform and announce the scholarship recipients.
On Saturday, the festivities will continue with a 10 am parade along Martin Luther King Jr. Street in Bryan from Muckelroy Street to Sadie Thomas Park where a celebration with games and activities will continue until 3 pm The event will conclude Saturday night in Downtown Bryan with The annual Blues Fest, featuring the band Hard to Find with Eugene Eugene opening. The Blues Fest is set to begin at 6 pm on 21st Street between North Bryan Avenue and North Main Street.
Eaton said he expects food trucks to be at the park and at the Blues Fest. As a family-oriented event, there will be no alcohol sold, and alcohol consumption is not encouraged.
Since taking on the organization of the event in 2012, Eaton said the biggest effort in advance of the free event is fundraising. The only charge is for parade participants and T-shirt sales, which will take place at the booth set up at Kemp- Carver Elementary School at 7:30 am Saturday.
“We’re trying to keep it in the forefront because of the fact that this was the first holiday — we’re talking about national holiday — that was observed in the state of Texas because Texas was the last one to announce freedom,” Eaton said. “It’s not so much as to talking about abolishing slavery as it is the effort that went into acknowledging the fact that we did go through slavery. We try to use the history that was handed down to us and keep it going and celebrate today. with events, and that’s the purpose of doing it. ”
The second annual Juneteenth Freedom Day Fest will take place from 10 am to 6 pm Saturday, hosted by the Hearne Chamber of Commerce and QProduktionz.
The free family-friendly event will include food vendors, crafts, music and a kid’s zone.
“The day is a celebration of freedom, reflection, and a day of fellowship for people of all colors and creeds,” a post on the event’s Facebook page states.
For more information about the event or to become a sponsor, contact QProduktionz at 979-436-2137 or the Hearne Chamber of Commerce at 979-595-8150 or at email@example.com.
Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site will host its annual Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 25 from 10 am to 4 pm
This year’s event is dedicated and will kick off with a celebration of life and memorial service for Judge Eddie E. Harrison, who helped create the event in 2017.
It also will include a genealogical workshop led by Willie Lee Gay H-Town Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society with presentations by Brandi Waller-Pace, founder of Decolonizing the Music Room, and Myeshia Babers from Texas A & M University’s College of Liberal Arts.
The event will include food vendors and crafts, authors, a temporary gallery and informational booths. Performances from Fantasy Band and Brown Sugar Band will end the day.
The Brenham Heritage Museum’s Bus Depot Gallery will feature a Juneteenth exhibit that began Saturday and will run through the end of July.
The “Celebrate! A View of Juneteenth Traditions and Customs” exhibit is located at 313 East Alamo, at the corner of Clinton, and is open from 10 am to 4 pm every Saturday and by appointment. The exhibit includes artifacts, images and historic bulletin articles.
It will be open on Saturday when a parade and celebration is expected in downtown Brenham.
For more information, email the museum at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 979-830-8445.