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Juneteenth festivities celebrate important moment in Texas history

Written by , published June 13, 2013

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.

As the site of this historic event, Galveston's Juneteenth does it big with more than 10 days of events, ranging from contemplative exhibits and prayer meetings to lively parades and festivals. A detailed list of planned activities running now through June 19 can be found here.

This Saturday, Waco's Juneteenth Family Fun Day features performances by nationally known R&B acts such as K-Ci & JoJo and H-town, as well as a parade and family activities. Gates open at 2 p.m. with live entertainment beginning at 4 p.m. in Brazos Park East.

Aside from the historical aspect, Juneteenth also is a time to celebrate the African American journey, which echoes the theme of an exhibit at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort WorthRomare Bearden: A Black Odyssey retells the Greek classic The Odyssey with black characters, reinterpreting the tale as a universal story of a traveler's search for home. The exhibit runs through August 11. 

Other Juneteenth events across the state include:

Austin: Central Texas Juneteenth Celebrations , June 19

Austin: DiverseArts Juneteenth Celebration , June 22

Balch Springs: Juneteenth Jubilation , June 15

Bastrop: Juneteenth Celebration , June 15

Fort Worth: Juneteenth Celebration , June 19

Houston: Juneteenth Summer Celebration , June 19

San Antonio: Juneteenth Celebrations , June 19

San Marcos: Juneteenth Celebrations , June 21-22

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