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The Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization of Galveston Island, Texas... Read more.


Media Contacts

Leah Cast
Director of Communications
Office: (409)797-5152
lcast@galvestoncvb.com

Ivette Wilhelm
Public Relations Manager
Office: (409)797-5124
iwilhelm@galvestoncvb.com

Mary Beth Bassett
Public Relations Coordinator
Office: (409)797-5121
mbassett@galvestoncvb.com


Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau Press Room
Media Contact
Mary Beth Bassett
Public Relations Coordinator
Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau
Office(409)797-5121
Email: mbassett@galvestoncvb.com

Galveston Juneteenth Celebration Marks 150th Anniversary June 7 - 20

GALVESTON ISLAND, Texas (May 11, 2015) – When you head to Galveston this June, you’ll be coming home where it all began as the island hosts several days of festivities to celebrate Juneteenth – a holiday that originated in this historic beach town.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth, which will be celebrated with parades, festivals, picnics, African-American heritage exhibits, reenactments, concerts and more. New this year, historic Reedy Chapel will host a Buffalo Soldier Reenactment June 18 and 19 at the church grounds. On June 19, the soldiers – dressed in 1866 period United States Army uniforms – will lead a Juneteenth parade from Reedy Chapel to the Old Galveston Courthouse to hear a reading of General Order No. 3, which was read in Galveston on June 19, 1865 to inform the last slaves in the United States that they were free.

Also new this year, the Old Central Cultural Center will host a celebration in honor of Galveston-born world champion boxer Jack Johnson June 13. At the event, veteran boxing promoter Bob Spagnola will speak about Johnson’s accomplishments in the ring and the impact he had on the sport.

More than 17 other events are planned for Galveston’s 2015 Juneteenth celebration. Below is a list of events:

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Juneteenth Development Corporation Scholarship Gala

Time: 7 p.m.

Tickets: Adults $15/Children $7.50 at the door

Location: Old Central Cultural Center, 2627 Avenue M, Galveston

Contact: Dorothy Brown (409) 762-0063 or Archie Ruth DeClout (409)765-6120

Description: Young ladies ages 17 to 22 will compete for scholarships and prizes. The first place winner will be crowned Miss Juneteenth Ambassador. Contestants will be judged on an oral presentation of their goals and aspirations, a creative talent, formal wear and a question and answer session.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Al Edwards’ Juneteenth Banquet

Time: 7 p.m.

Tickets: $35

Location: Old Central Cultural Center, 2627 Avenue M, Galveston

Contact: Pete Henley (409) 392-0317 or Douglas Matthews (409) 599-5520

Description: Dr. John Rudley the president of Texas Southern University is the featured speaker at this event. Sponsorships are available at $350, $500 and $1,000. Individual tickets are $35. Proceeds will benefit the Old Central Cultural Center.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Galveston Historical Foundation presents “African American History: Importance & Reflection”

Time: 10 a.m.

Admission: Free

Location: 1861 Customs House, 502 20th Street, Galveston

Contact: (409) 765-3410

Description: The Galveston Historical Foundation will host Deborah Mack from the National Museum of African American History and Caleb Daniels from the Rice University history department. They will bring a historical perspective to Juneteenth and inspire us with thoughts on the importance of African American history.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

10th Annual Juneteenth Family Day at Stringfellow Orchards

Time: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Admission: Free

Location: 7902 State Highway 6, Hitchcock

Contact: Samuel Collins, III (409) 256-3822

Description: Activities for the day include historical reenactments, games for children of all ages, music and performances at Stringfellow Orchards. Stringfellow Orchards was owned by Henry Martyn Stringfellow (1839-1912), a successful businessman in the late 1880s. Because of his success, Stringfellow was able to pay orchard workers one dollar a day (when the going wage was fifty cents). This enabled workers, mostly freed slaves, the opportunity to better take care of their families and progress after the Emancipation.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

African American Museum Juneteenth Family & Friends Festival

Time: 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Admission: Free

Location: Kermit Courville Stadium Parking Lot, 27th and Avenue L, Galveston

Contact: James Josey (409) 497-6963

Details: This family-friendly event features a kids’ zone, food vendors, hip-hop dancers and live music throughout the day.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Juneteenth at Jack Johnson Park: The Heart of a Champion

Time: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Admission: Free

Location: Olld Central Cultural Center, 2617 Avenue M, Galveston

Contact: Douglas Matthews (409) 599-5520

Description: Veteran boxing manager and historian Bob Spagnola will conduct a meet-and-greet along with several of his current and former clients to discuss and view videos of the world champions he has associated with during his 25 years in the business. The talk will be held in the Old Central auditorium located adjacent to Jack Johnson Park. John Arthur “Jack” Johnson was born in Galveston March 31, 1878 and became the first African American to win the world heavyweight boxing championship in 1908.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Nia Cultural Center: Screening of "Celebrating Freedom Then & Now"

Time: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Admission: Free

Location: Old Central Cultural Center, 2627 Avenue M, Galveston

Contact: Sue Johnson (409) 765-7086

Inspired by a discussion of elders’ recollections of the celebration of Juneteenth when they were young, the Nia Cultural Center decided to document these firsthand accounts using area students to record interviews. This enlightening documentary will explore the factual history of the holiday and testimonials of how the celebration of Juneteenth and the Galveston community has changed over time.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

St. Vincent’s House Gospel by the Sea Benefit Concert

Time: 6 p.m.

Admission: Free with ticket

Location: The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice Street, Galveston

Contact: Rev. Freda Marie Brown or Linda Cole (409) 763-8521

Description: Please join St. Vincent’s House for the annual concert for Galveston’s Juneteenth celebration. Call ahead for tickets.

   

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Discussion with Leonard Pitts, author of “Freeman”

Time: 7 p.m.

Admission: Free

Location: Sieber Center at Galveston College, 4015 Avenue Q, Galveston

Description: The Galveston Reads program and Rosenberg Library present a discussion of the book “Freeman” with author Leonard Pitts.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Galveston Historical Foundation Presents “The Making of the Underground Railroad: From Slavery to Freedom”

Time: 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Admission: Free

Location: Menard House, 35th and Avenue O, Galveston

Contact: Call (409) 765-3468 to register

Description: Since 2002, as part of Galveston’s annual Juneteenth activities, Galveston Historical Foundation has produced an Underground Railroad program to educate local children about American slaves who escaped to freedom and the abolitionists who helped them. The event consists of a day of reenactments of the lives of people who traveled the famous Underground Railroad. The program is designed to show children the challenges slaves faced in escaping to freedom. Children must be accompanied by an adult chaperone.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Buffalo Soldier Encampment

Time: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Admission: Free

Location: Old Galveston Courthouse, 21st Street and Winnie, Galveston

Contact: Sharon Gillins (409) 974-4839

Description: The encampment will take place where African American soldiers, known as Buffalo Soldiers, were camped when General Gordon Granger came to Galveston in 1865 to read General Order No. 3 that ended slavery in Texas. Here, actors will demonstrate the use of tents, cooking utensils and other equipment these soldiers used 150 years ago. This event is made possible with the help of a grant from the Mary Moody Northen Foundation.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Texas Juneteenth Gala at Ashton Villa

Time: 7 p.m.

Admission: $25

Location: 1859 Ashton Villa, 2328 Broadway, Galveston

Contact: Douglas Matthews (409) 747-2791

Description: This event celebrates the historic actions of former State Representative Al Edwards, the Texas Legislature and Governor Bill Clements who signed the bill making Juneteenth as state holiday in June 1979 and the state funding of $100,000 for the Texas Juneteenth statue erected at Ashton Villa in June 2007.

Friday, June 19, 2015

36th Annual Al Edwards Juneteenth State Holiday, Emancipation Proclamation Reading and Prayer Breakfast

Time: 8:30 a.m.

Admission: Free

Location: 1859 Ashton Billa, 2328 Broadway, Galveston

Contact: Douglas Matthews (409) 747-2791

Description: The Emancipation Proclamation will be read to commemorate the historic event that occurred in Galveston on June 19, 1865, two years after it was enacted in 1863. Galveston holds the distinction of being the place of the first reading of the Proclamation in the South. The event also celebrates Texas State Representative Al Edwards’ sponsorship of two legislative bills establishing Juneteenth as a state holiday in 1979 and providing for a Juneteenth statue in Galveston. Juneteenth was the first government-recognized holiday for black people in the United States. Free breakfast will be provided after the program.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Buffalo Soldier Encampment

Time: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Admission: Free

Location: Old Galveston Courthouse, 21st Street and Winnie, Galveston

Contact: Sharon Gillins (409) 974-4839

Description: The encampment will take place where African American soldiers, known as Buffalo Soldiers, were camped when General Gordon Granger came to Galveston in 1865 to read General Order No. 3 that ended slavery in Texas. Here, actors will demonstrate the use of tents, cooking utensils and other equipment these soldiers used 150 years ago. This event is made possible with the help of a grant from the Mary Moody Northen Foundation.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Annual Annie Mae Charles Juneteenth Picnic

Time: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Admission: Free

Location: Wright Cuney Park, 41st Street and Ball Street, Galveston

Contact: Anna Fields (409) 939-4674 or Barbara Gordon (409) 599-8050

Description: The picnic includes refreshments, music, activities and a special program including the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Juneteenth at Jack Johnson Park

Time: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission: Free

Location: Jack Johnson Park, 2601 Avenue M, Galveston

Contact: Douglas Matthews (409) 599-5520

Description: Enjoy local entertainment and refreshments at the pavilion. Jack Johnson Park was dedicated in November 2012 and is operated by the Old Central Cultural Center Board of Directros. This community park recognizes its native son, John Arthur “Jack” Johnson, born March 31, 1878. Johnson became the first African American to win the World Heavyweight Boxing Championship in 1908. A life-size statue was placed in the park in his honor.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Annie Mae Charles Juneteenth Noon Parade

Time: 12 p.m.

Admission: Free

Location: 33rd Street and Seawall Blvd., Galveston

Contact: Rosalyn Jackson (409) 497-3203

Details: Parade goers will enjoy motorcycles, Corvettes, drill teams and many other participants from Galveston County.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Reedy Chapel A.M.E. Church Juneteenth Homecoming for the 150th Emancipation March

Time: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Admission; Free

Location: Old Galveston Court House, 21st Street and Sealy Street

Contact: Sharon B. Gillins (409) 974-4839

Description: Bring your family to walk in the footsteps of their ancestors as Reedy Chapel A.M.E. Church reenacts the first documented celebration of emancipation held on January 1, 1866 and attended by nearly 1,000 citizens of Galveston. Witness history and hear the 150th reading of General Order No. 3 from the steps of the Old Galveston Courthouse. A jubilant march to the historic sanctuary at Reedy Chapel A.M.E. Church will follow. Here, an inspirational program of music, performance and speakers will take place.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Galveston Juneteenth Parade

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Admission: Free

Location: 1600 Strand Street to Seawall Blvd., Galveston

Contact: Rosalyn Jackson (409) 497-3203

Description: The parade will begin at 1600 Strand Street and travel west to 25th Street. It will travel south to Seawall Blvd., west to 28th Street and north to Avenue Q. The parade will feature area bands, drill teams and other performers.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Take it to the Wood “Juneteenth Celebration” Shiloh A.M.E. Church

Time: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Admission: Free

Location: 1320 29th Street (MLK Blvd.)

Contact: Reverend Kevin Hodge, Sr., Pastor

Description: This celebration includes food, games and entertainment for the whole family.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Galveston Historical Foundation Juneteenth Community Concert

Time: 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Admission: Free

Location: Saengerfest Park located, 23rd Street and Strand Street, Galveston

Contact: (409) 765-7834

Description: The Juneteenth Community Concert is sponsored by the Galveston Historical Foundation. Historically, the first formal celebrations of Emancipation and Abolition were celebrated in the public square. The concert will feature live music.

For a full list of events, please visit www.galveston.com/juneteenth.

About Juneteenth

Many people think slavery ended on September 22, 1862 – the date Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. In reality, many slaves weren’t freed until much later when news of the proclamation reached their towns. The last of those slaves lived in the South and were freed on June 19, 1865 after the Emancipation Proclamation was read on a harbor pier in Galveston, Texas. This date eventually became known as “Juneteenth.” While celebrations were long held in Galveston and various parts of the country in earlier years, Texas lead the way in making Juneteenth an official state holiday in 1980.Today, Juneteenth is celebrated in more than 40 states throughout the country.

About Galveston Island

Galveston Island is a historic beach town located on the Gulf of Mexico just 50 miles from Houston. The island is best known as a vacation destination, offering 32 miles of beaches, a variety of family attractions, Texas’ premier cruise port and one of the largest and well-preserved concentrations of Victorian architecture in the country, including several National Historic Landmarks. Galveston Island is home to popular amusements such as, Moody Gardens and Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark, as well as a variety of museums and recreational activities from surfing to birding. For more information on Galveston Island visit www.galveston.com or call 1-888-GAL-ISLE.

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