After the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect in 1863, it took two and a half years for the word that slaves were free to make it to Texas. The date that a Union general announced the news in Galveston on June 19, 1865 now known as Juneteenth is marked with celebrations across the state during the next two weekends. This year marks its 150th anniversary.
As the site of this historic event, Galveston's Juneteenth does it big with multiple days of events, ranging from festivals, picnics, and concerts to African-American heritage exhibits, re-enactments and the annual reading of the Emancipation Proclamation in front of the official Juneteenth monument.
Other Juneteenth events across the state include:
Bastrop: Juneteenth, June 20
Coldspring: Juneteenth Parade and Celebration, June 20
Denton: Juneteenth Celebration, June 19-20
Odessa: Juneteenth Celebration, June 18-21
Pflugerville: Juneteenth/Music in the Park, June 19
Port Arthur: Juneteenth Celebration, June 19
Taylor: Juneteenth and Bill Pickett Celebration, June 19-21
(Originally published June 2013. Updated June 2015)