Juneteenth Celebration planned in Georgetown

The annual Juneteenth Celebration will be held Saturday, June 15, 11 a.m. at the Richard Allen School, 316 S. Railroad Avenue, Georgetown, with the parade beginning at 10 a.m. The full-day event is in celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation, when the slaves were notified they were freed.

There will be entertainment, parade, food, vendors, games, school tours and more, with opportunities to sell items and hand out information. Vendors will pay $50 and should bring their own tent and table, to set up by 9 a.m. For vendor information, call Carolyn at (302) 228-5973.

For parade information, route and line-up, call Hattie at (302) 228-0057. Parade participants must pre-register; the registration deadline is May 15.

“The Proclamation, called General’s Order #3, was read by Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger upon his arrival to the town,” organizers noted. “The order began most significantly with: ‘The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.

“‘This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer.’ It is written that with the announcement, festivities abounded showing the relief many felt realizing the profoundness of this announcement.”

“The community responded with both joy and shock as the proclamation was read. Some of the slaves did not wait to hear the reading in its entirety but went to their previous masters to determine what their status would be with this proclamation. Others were eager to learn how this transition would take place and reveling in their new freedom.”

The celebration of Juneteenth grew with more participation from descendants, organizers of the Georgetown event noted.

“The Juneteenth celebration was a time for reassuring each other, for praying and for gathering remaining family members. Juneteenth continues to be highly revered in Texas, with many former slaves and descendants making their way back to Galveston in celebration of this date.”

The event is sponsored by the Richard Allen Coalition, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated Sussex Alumnae Chapter, Restoration Worship Center and Everlasting Hope Ministries in collaboration with the Buffalo Soldiers.

For more information, contact Jane Hovington at (302) 258-7182 or email jehovahrohi@aol.com.