Juneteenth marks the day when enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, finally learned of their freedom. On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger read the proclamation declaring the end of slavery, "All slaves are free." Although the Emancipation Proclamation had been signed more than two years before, and the Civil War had ended on April 9, 1865, many enslavers in Texas had withheld this news from the humans they had enslaved.

Juneteenth is a day of both celebration and reflection. We celebrate the progress that has been made since the end of slavery. We also reflect on the work that still needs to be done to ensure that all people, made in God's image, are treated justly.

"Juneteenth is a reminder that each day this country must consciously make a decision to move forward toward freedom for all its citizens, and that this is something that must be done proactively; it will not happen on its own." --Clint Smith, How the Word is Passed

Opportunities to Commemorate Juneteenth

There are many local events sponsored by Eastside cities and groups to commemorate Juneteenth. Choose one in your area and celebrate with your neighbors.

Kirkland – Juneteenth – Day of Freedom
Saturday, June 17, 11:30 – 4:00 pm, Juanita Beach Park.
Join the City of Kirkland and Eastside for All to celebrate Juneteenth at Juanita Beach Park. The event will feature Delbert Richardson and his Unspoken Truths American History Traveling Museum as well as other speakers and performers. Food trucks will be on site.

Issaquah – Juneteenth Celebration
Monday, June 19, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Issaquah Community Center.
Come join neighbors for a family-friendly BBQ and music to celebrate Juneteenth at the Issaquah Community Center! Issaquah has a nice listing of other regional Juneteenth events on their Juneteenth page.              

Bellevue – Juneteenth at City of Bellevue
Tuesday, June 20, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Bellevue City Hall.
Join the City of Bellevue to celebrate Juneteenth with a panel discussion, arts and performance, and food and connection.