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Juneteenth (a portmanteau of “June” and “nineteenth”) commemorates the 1865 emancipation of Black slaves in the United States. Today, the celebration often includes singing, street fairs, cookouts, and Miss Juneteenth contests. As of this year, Juneteenth is a state-recognized holiday in Oregon, thanks in part to the efforts of the late community organizer Clara Peoples. Also known as the “mother of Juneteenth,” Peoples founded the Juneteenth Oregon celebration 50 years ago, in 1972. Read on for more ways to celebrate the holiday, from Freadom Festival to The History of Black Drag in Portland.
Juneteenth Freedom Celebration
Celebrate the liberation of the last African American slaves in Texas at this community event, which will highlight freedoms such as the freedom to participate in civic engagement, the freedom to celebrate and preserve heritage, and more. Along with a historical display and art installation, vendor booths, and a tabletop gaming area, a packed schedule of performances will run from afternoon until evening, with speeches, DJ sets, gospel performances, and more.
Esther Short Park, Vancouver (Fri June 17)