Juneteenth is the oldest celebration of the end of slavery in the United States of America. The Emancipation Proclamation, issued in 1863, freed slaves in areas covered by the Union Army. In isolated areas owners kept the news from their slaves so they would not flee. On June 19, 1862 some of the last slaves in the USA were freed when word of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached confederate Galveston, Texas. Since that day Juneteenth has been celebrated in the USA for 151 years.
Iowans began celebrating in the 1990″s. This year Cedar Rapids will celebrate Friday & Saturday June 17th and 18th. The event on June 17th will be held at the African American Museum of Iowa 6:30pm and on the 18th at Viola Gibson Park from 11am to 4pm. There will be live entertainment, great food, visual artists, and lots of fun for all ages.