The First State is holding a number of festivals and events among its Juneteenth celebrations.
They start Sunday, June 12 with a Juneteenth Gala at The Chase Center and run through Wednesday, June 29, where Christina Cultural Arts Center will hold a talent show.
Juneteenth, short for June 19, is a holiday that celebrates the day in 1865 on which Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger and his officers arrived in Galveston, Texas to free any remaining slaves.
It was two months after the Civil War had ended, and more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln.
The date became a national holiday in 2021, when President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, making the day America’s 12th federal holiday.
Here’s what’s in store for next weekend:
- The Delaware Juneteenth Association will host its fifth annual Juneteenth Gala Sunday, June 12 at 6:30 pm At the Chase Center on the Riverfront. The gala will benefit the association’s scholarship fund. It will “be a night of elegance, celebration and freedom.”
- The Delaware Art Museum will host a Beyond Juneteenth Egungun Festival Saturday, June 18, from 10 am to 4 pm The event will start with a Juneteenth flag raising ceremony, live music performances, food trucks, arts and craft vendors. “Egungun” is a South West Nigerian masquerade that represents a connection between the living and dead worlds. Admission is free.
- The Delaware Museum of Nature & Science will host their second annual Juneteenth Entrepreneurial Expo Saturday, June 18 from 6 pm to 10 pm Organized by Women with a Visionthe event will have shopping, food trucks, a live DJ, prizes and giveaways, and a live performance by Best Kept Soul. Tickets are $ 20 and can be bought here..
- The Delaware Art Museum will host a “Joke-Istory” event at 10:30 pm Saturday, June 18th Where people can watch a stand-up comedy show. Performers such as Charles Walden. Keith Purnell, Dante Carter and Mike Bonner will take the stage. Attendees must be 21+ to enter. Tickets cost $ 25 if they are purchased online but $ 45 if purchased at the door. Seating is general admission and on a first come first served basis.
- Choir School of Delaware will be performing a concert June 19 at 11 am at Wilmington Friends Meeting House. This is part of their “STAND UP: HARRIET TUBMAN” tour that is June 17-21. All their concerts during this tour are free with no registration required. The other concerts, which are in Pa., Can be found here..
- Tabernacle Full Gospel Baptist, in Wilmington, will host a Juneteenth Day of Observance Sunday, June 19 at 4 pm
- The Juneteenth Freedom Festival will be held in Tubman-Garrett Park on Rosa Parks Drive in Wilmington. The festival is Monday, June 20 at noonand admission is free.
- The Grand Opera House will host the 25th annual Delaware Juneteenth Pageant Sunday, June 26 at 5 pm People between ages 15 and 18 can participate.
- Christina Cultural Arts Center is hosting a “Male Juneteenth Talent Showcase” Wednesday, June 29 at 7 pm The event is open to all ages and costs $ 5 to enter. Young male contestants ages eight to 18 will have a chance to perform their talents for a chance to win $ 500 cash. Tickets can be purchased here..
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Jarek Rutz can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at (215) 450-9982. Follow him on Twitter @jarekrutz and on LinkedIn..
Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a BA in journalism and a BA in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.