On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, a full two-and-a-half years after President Lincoln read the Emancipation Proclamation, to inform those living in the community that the enslaved were now free. It was the very last town in the nation to receive the news. Now, that date is celebrated across the nation as Juneteenth.
Go Nakamura/Getty Images People pose in front of the statue of former Texas Representative Al Edwards, who sponsored the legislation making Juneteeth a state holiday in 1979 at historic Ashton Villa, where emancipation of the slaves was announced in 1865, on June 19, 2020 in Galveston, Texas.
To honor the holiday, we're highlighting destinations hosting in-person and virtual celebrations that you can take part in to honor Black history.
Go Nakamura/Getty Images View during a the ceremony of the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth at historic Ashton Villa, where emancipation of the slaves was announced in 1865, on June 19, 2020 in Galveston, Texas.
Carolina Core, North Carolina
The Carolina Core - a region encompassing cities such as Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point - is honoring its heritage as a major player in African American history over Juneteenth weekend. Greensboro, which was home of the Civil Rights Sit-in, will host Juneteenth events all weekend long, including Juneteenth GSO: Farmers Market Edition, Arts Legacy Awards, Black Food Truck Fest, and much more.
For something different, the Historic Magnolia House, one of only four Green Book sites in North Carolina, will be offering a special lunch menu inspired by historic Juneteenth meals. The house has also partnered with the Greensboro History Museum to organize a bike tour highlighting famous African American sites.
And in Winston-Salem, locals and visitors can celebrate the holiday at the Juneteenth Festival with music, dance, food, panel discussions, and arts and crafts.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images People look on during a Juneteenth Reunion Family Caravan and BBQ at Craig Ranch Regional Park put on by the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation on June 19, 2020 in North Las Vegas, Nevada.
Chattanooga is extending the Juneteenth celebrations all month long. It's hosting the 4th Annual Chattanooga Festival of Black Arts & Ideas from May 31 through June 25. During that time, the community will present works of music, dance, visual arts, film, and spoken word. Most events will be held on MLK Boulevard in honor of Black Wall Street. The main event, Juneteenth Independence Day, will be held at Community Haven in East Chattanooga.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
The Juneteenth celebration in Colorado Springs will be a free, three-day event from June 18-20 at America the Beautiful Park. The event is a "celebration for people of all races, nationalities and religions joining together as one body to truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today." It will include performances by local step show talent, a car show, a fashion show, and plenty of games and activities.
Go Nakamura/Getty Images People come out to see "Black Towns Matter" which is painted on a street on June 19, 2020 in Houston, Texas.
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Fort Wayne's Juneteenth celebration will take place at the Art Leadership Center. The event will include musical performances, community discussion, an event honoring community elders, a young adult gathering, and a promenade torch ceremony to close out the event.
Fayetteville, North Carolina
The Juneteenth Freedom Festival in Fayetteville is here to "honor the sacrifice of our ancestors and share the cultural heritage of slaves and their descendants through entertainment, art, education, and an ever-present, always-developing sense of community." This year's celebration takes place online, meaning no matter where you are you can join in and listen to music, speakers, workshops, and other vendors. Sign up for the virtual event here.
Loudoun County, Virginia
On June 19, Leesburg, Virginia will host its inaugural Juneteenth Celebration at Ida Lee Park. The day-long event, running from noon to 6 p.m., will celebrate with a variety of musical acts, including the Chuck Brown Band, food, and craft beverages.
Los Angeles, California
The Los Angeles Public Library will host another virtual event with its "Juneteenth Joy Virtual Celebration." The event includes a performance by DJ pastelShade, and asks you come ready to dance from your living room. "This event will invite movement through dancing, ancestor remembrance through ritual, and an opportunity to collectively celebrate our liberation and resilience," the library says. Learn more here.
Natasha Moustache/Getty Images Black Chicagoan and Indiana horse owners ride through Washington Park on June 19, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois.
New York City, New York
New York City will host the Juneteenth NY Festival from June 18-20. The three-day festival includes POMP, which the festival organizers describe as "our play on Sir Edward Elgar's classic tune of Pomp and Circumstance that when heard often signifies graduation or a regal entrance musical ensemble designed for royalty. Our Juneteenth Pomp is a family-based experience that leads youth 14-19 years old into a cascade of learning through leadership training." See more about the festival here.
From June 18-20, Fint will host its largest Juneteenth celebration to date. It will include a vendor expo, a gospel festival, and even a parade down Saginaw Street ending at Berston Field House. See all event listings here.