Juneteenth celebrated with parade, gathering

Photo by David Kapitan

Participants of the June 17 parade, which included a variety of vehicles ranging from bicycles to classic cars, make their way down South 4th Street in Wills Point. 

Members of the Wills Point community and beyond joined together June 17, braving warm temperatures and high humidity once again for the largest Juneteenth celebration in the area.

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.

This year's local Juneteenth celebration commemorated the 152nd anniversary of Granger's arrival in Galveston.

To read the full article, subscribe to the Wills Point Chronicle or pick up a copy from one of our vendors.