Appleton's Annual Juneteenth Celebration
Posted on 06/17/2016

The 7th annual Juneteenth festival will take place on June 19th in Appleton’s City Park and will be a celebration of freedom, unity and community. The celebration is free to attend and runs from noon until 6 p.m.

The Juneteenth Celebration will feature:

  • MC Keith L. Brown, Mr. I’M POSSIBLE
  • “The Prince & Michael Experience” tribute performance
  • Muntu Dance Theater of Chicago
  • Lex Allen with New Age Narcissism
  • Kucha and Baba Tony Stortytellers of Chicago
  • HecDaKid from Atlanta
  • Music from DJ Afrekete
  • Stone of Hope Exhibit
  • A Children’s Village with storytelling, face painting, mini golf, a train, and rock wall
  • Food, free giveaways, and a resource fair

History of Juneteenth

In 1865, enslaved Africans on Galveston Island, Texas, had been declared free two years earlier but didn’t know it. With the United States still divided over the institution of slavery and recovering after the Civil War, members of the Confederacy weren’t eager to spread the word. 

Only after Union soldiers, led by Major Gen. Gordon Granger, worked their way South for more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation did word reach Galveston Island. On June 19, 1865, known as Juneteenth—a melding of the day’s month and date—the last remaining slaves in America were declared free. Juneteenth, America’s “second Independence Day,” is now celebrated around the country. It is officially observed in 43 states and is a state holiday in Texas, home of the last to know. (The Root)
Juneteenth became a Wisconsin state holiday in 2009. Appleton held its first Annual Juneteenth Celebration in June 2010.

Appleton’s Juneteenth that is co-founded by African Heritage, Inc. and the City of Appleton has become the largest diversity celebration of freedom in Northeast Wisconsin.

Appleton Area School District has been a proud supporter of Appleton’s Juneteenth since 2010!


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