The Alachua County Library District invites the community to celebrate 151 years of freedom and commemorate the end of slavery at the 9th Annual Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 18, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Cone Park Branch Library, 2801 E. University Avenue. This spirited event brings the community together for special presentations, music, exhibits, activities, food, drinks and prizes.
This year marks the 151st anniversary of Juneteenth, a day of recognition and celebration of the end of African American slavery in the United States. Although President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862 it was not until June 19, 1865 that the news finally reached slaves in Galveston, Texas when the Union Army arrived to announce the end of the Civil War and the practice of slavery. Annual Juneteenth celebrations began in Texas and slowly spread to the rest of the nation. Until the 1970s, celebrations were limited. Since then 36 states have recognized Juneteenth as a holiday or day of observance.
Alachua County Library District and its community partners present this Juneteenth Celebration to foster a better understanding of history and provide families with a fun, educational event. This year’s musical entertainment features African music and dance, gospel, jazz, R&B and more. Activities for kids of all ages include face painting, balloon sculpting and a photo booth with additional activities provided by exhibitors. Organizations and groups such as Gainesville Housing Authority, Department of Children and Families, PACE Center for Girls, Healthy Families, Community Action Agency, Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, City of Gainesville/Bicycle-Pedestrian Program, Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center, Cone Park Branch Library and others will have information available about their programs and opportunities for area youth as well as activities for children. The Library District will sign up kids, teens and adults for its Summer Reading program. All ages are welcome.
If a person with a disability needs an accommodation in order to participate in this event he or she is entitled, at no cost to him or her, to the provision of certain assistance. Please contact the Alachua County Library District at 352-334-3910 at least three (3) days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).