What is Juneteenth? 

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

On June 19th, 1865, Union army general Gordon Granger’s read the federal orders in the city of Galveston, Texas proclaiming that all enslaved persons in the U.S. state of Texas were now free. This was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance. The day was recognized as a federal holiday in 2021. 

Below are a few events happening across the watershed. The Alliance encourages all our friends and partners to join us in recognizing the Juneteenth Holiday. Take an opportunity to learn, discuss, or celebrate in your community – and walk away with growing knowledge of where we have been and where we hope to go in our effort for social and racial justice.

ANNAPOLIS, MD: Juneteenth Celebration Parade

Susan Campbell Park, City Dock Annapolis, MD 21401

June 18, 2022 

12:00 – 2:00 pm ET 

Presented by the Annapolis Juneteenth Board & City of Annapolis. A parade will take place to celebrate the Juneteenth holiday featuring community-based civic organizations, marching bands, dance squads, floats, and more. The parade will begin at the Annapolis City Dock with a community prayer, opening remarks and will end at the steps of the Maryland Hall with a brief ceremony, musical performance, and ringing of the freedom bells. The festival will close with a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, theatrical performance, and tribute featuring local artists and creatives. 2–dusk Bates Athletic Complex, Annapolis.

WASHINGTON, DC: Freedom Festival 

Hosted by the Juneteenth Foundation. Activities include a Celebrity Golf Tournament, Community Block Party, DEI Panel Discussion & Career Fair, Fathers Day Celebration, and the  Juneteenth Honors Concert.

LANCASTER, PA: Cultural Mixer

Crispus Attucks Community Center, Lancaster, PA 17602 

June 19, 2022

6:00 – 9:00 pm ET

This cultural mix will bring the community together in celebration of Juneteenth. This free event will include food and beverages, performances, history, and time to gather and reflect.

The Crispus Attucks Community Center in Lancaster City will host a cultural mixer on Sunday, June 19, from 6-9 p.m. to bring the community together in celebration of Juneteenth. Juneteenth was officially designated a Lancaster County holiday this year.

RICHMOND, VA: Juneteenth in the Park

Pocahontas State Park, 10301 State Park Rd., Chesterfield, VA 23832.

Auxiliary Lot by Aquatic Complex

June 19, 2022

11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET

Learn more about Juneteenth and the experience of African-American Virginians at Pocahontas State Park and within the Virginia State Parks system generally at this event. Present will be food trucks, entertainment, vendors, self-guided activities that can be completed at your own pace, and much more.