Juneteenth event to draw crowd

From staff reports

For the 18th consecutive year, the city of Wills Point will be the site of the largest Juneteenth celebration in Van Zandt County.

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston with the news that the Civil War had ended and the enslaved were now free. 

This announcement came two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862. The celebration of June 19 became “Juneteenth,” and the observance has grown beyond the borders of Texas and traveled to other countries. It became an official state holiday in Texas after having been signed into law on June 13, 1979.

Previous local Juneteenth celebrations have been big successes, with more and more people attending each subsequent event. This year’s event is scheduled to begin with a parade at 10 a.m., and food, cold drinks and games throughout the afternoon June 20.

The parade will begin at the intersection O’Neal and Fourth Street and continue south to South Park for a community celebration.

Organizers behind the local Juneteenth event stated, “Over the years, we have had increasing help in the community, but this year we are trying to make it bigger! If you want to eat a great meal, enjoy the music and company of your friends and family, please come out and help us celebrate this holiday. We look forward to spending time with you during this joyous occasion.”


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