Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, occurs annually on June 19. It is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.
Juneteenth’s commemoration is on the anniversary date of June 19, 1865, when Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger led a force of soldiers to Galveston, Texas, to deliver General Order No. 3. This message stated that the war was over, the Union had won, and it had the manpower to enforce the end of slavery.
The announcement came two months after the effective conclusion of the Civil War and more than two years since President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
This is why we celebrate Juneteenth, as it honors the day all of the enslaved were legally freed.
Lexington Special Events
Moondance Amphitheater, 1152 Monarch St.
June 18 | noon – 7 p.m.
Celebrate black liberation and ingenuity through music, art, agriculture and food.
African Cemetery No. 2, 419 East Seventh St.
June 18 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.
The 17th annual celebration highlights the spirit of freedom and honors the Civil War soldiers who fought for that freedom.
Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden, 577 East Third St.
June 19 | 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Morning services, entertainment, kids’ activities, information booths, vendors and community fellowship celebrating black American liberation.
Wise Guys Barbershop & Georgetown St. Neighborhood Association Juneteenth Celebration
Douglas Park, 726 Georgetown St.
June 19 | 5 – 9 p.m.
A community celebration with the goal to bring awareness to culture, history, equality and peace to the neighborhood. Food service from Chef Doug Johannes from 5 – 7 p.m., music by DJ Classic, inflatables and fireworks.
Juneteenth Independence Day Celebration: Affrilachian Poets Literary Event
Lyric Theatre & Cultural Arts Center, 300 East Third St.
June 19 | 7 p.m.
Celebrating African American independence and freedom featuring acclaimed members of the Affrilachian Poets.
Special guest emcees are current Kentucky Poet Laureate Crystal Wilkinson and former Kentucky Poet Laureate Frank X Walker.