FROM STAFF REPORTS
Daytona Beach Leisure Services Director Percy Williamson says planning has begun for this year’s Juneteenth celebrations.
The annual event, which will be in its 13th year, will feature a June 19 banquet at the Midtown Cultural and Educational Center on George Engram Boulevard and a festival featuring family events, food, vendors and entertainment at Cypress Street Park on June 20.
Also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, the Juneteenth holiday is an abbreviated form of “June Nineteenth.” It marks the day Blacks in Texas belatedly received word that President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had freed the nation’s slaves.
Black Americans commemorate Juneteenth as the date in 1865 when Union Gen. Gordon Granger arrived with his troops at Galveston Island and read President Lincoln’s proclamation freeing the state’s 200,000 slaves.
The proclamation had originally taken effect on Jan. 1, 1863, but word didn’t reach Texas until two months after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, and more than two years after the proclamation was issued.
For more information or to participate in the Daytona Beach events, contact Leisure Services at 386-671-8337.