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

Media Contacts

Mary Beth Bassett
Director of Public Relations
Office: (409)797-5121

Clayton Kolavo
Digital Content Strategist
Office: (409)797-5120

Caitlin Carnes
Public Reliations Manager
Office: (409) 797-5121

Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau Press Room
Media Contact
Ivette Wilhelm
Public Relations Manager
Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau
Office: (409)797-5124

Birthplace of Juneteenth Celebrates Emancipation with Festivities in Galveston

GALVESTON ISLAND, Texas (May 30, 2017) – When you head to Galveston next month, 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 152nd anniversary of Juneteenth, which will be celebrated with parades, festivals, picnics, African-American heritage exhibits, reenactments, concerts and more. 

On June 17, the island will host a Juneteenth parade – beginning at 17th and Strand streets, and ending at Menard Park (2222 28th Street). The parade will feature festive floats, entertainers and bands and will end with a fireworks show. 

Returning for its second year, the island will host the Galveston Crawfish Festival June 16-18 at Kempner Park as part of its Juneteenth festivities. The event will include crawfish and food vendors, a Kids’ Zone and live music from Zydeco and blues artists. For details, visit

Finally, the Galveston Juneteenth Coalition will host the 38th annual Al Edwards Emancipation Proclamation Reading and Prayer Breakfast at 8:30 a.m. on June 19 at the historic Ashton Villa – the location of the island’s official Juneteenth monument. And, Reedy Chapel A.M.E. Church will commemorate the first known Juneteenth celebration in U.S. history at 6 p.m. June 19 with its annual march from the steps of the Old Galveston County Courthouse to the church at 2015 Broadway Ave. The public is welcome to participate. 

A wide variety of events will take place throughout the month for Galveston’s 2017 Juneteenth celebration. For a list of upcoming events, visit and

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. For more information on Galveston Island visit or call 1-888-GAL-ISLE.

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601 Tremont Street | Galveston TX 77550 | (409)797-5145 | (866)505-4456