June 19, or Juneteenth, marks the day in 1865—two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation—when an estimated 250,000 slaves residing in Texas were informed of their freedom. More than 150 years later, Texans embrace this special holiday as a time to honor African-American heritage with events across the state.
Find more exciting things to do using the Texas Highways Events Calendar database.
Events across the state keep dear ol’ dad in mind this weekend.
More event ideas to keep you busy this weekend.
Galveston: June 4-19
Come home to where it all began—the island hosts several days of festivities to commemorate the holiday that originated in this historic Texas beach town. This year’s festivities will include a variety of events, including festivals, picnics, African-American heritage exhibits, reenactments, and concerts. The annual reading of the Emancipation Proclamation in front of the official Juneteenth monument will take place June 19.
Houston: June 17-18
The city’s official celebration is held at Emancipation Park‚ the site where Juneteenth celebrations first took place in 1872. This year’s celebration includes more than 40 years of central Houston Juneteenth parades.
Austin: June 17
This annual event features a walk/run, parade floats, entertainment, a Miss Juneteenth pageant, live music, and revelry along Martin Luther King Boulevard and in Rosewood Park.
Richmond: June 17
Celebrate this historic event and the enduring African-American contribution to the George family legacy at George Ranch Historical Park. A special historic meal will also take place at 12:30 p.m.
Port Arthur: June 19
Activities include the Ms. Juneteenth Pageant, the Mr. Juneteenth Extravaganza, family events, and a parade.
Washington: June 24
Celebrate the rich African-American heritage and culture of the Brazos Valley, past and present. This new program for Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site will include artifact exhibits, art displays, guest speakers such as historians and genealogists, living history buffalo soldiers and cowboys, music, and food.