Juneteenth celebrations, events across the Roanoke area

Ten-year-old Rashida McGee rips through some riffs as her band, "Visionz of Tomorrow" plays at the Juneteenth celebrations at Nichol Park in Richmond, California. (David Paul Morris, Getty Images)

Mark your calendars: Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, is set for Saturday.

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Juneteenth celebrates the official end of slavery in the United States. Despite the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation’s freeing of enslaved people, slavery persisted in slave-holding border states and rebel areas until federal troops took control of the regions. Texas was the last state to welcome proclamation-enforcing federal troops -- until this day, June 19, 1865, when General Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas with the famous statement: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.”

Our newest national holiday (as of just this week!), Juneteenth celebrates the legally enforced freedom granted to former African-American slaves. The day is often marked with parades, festivals, murals, food and parties.

Do you have an event planned that you’re hosting? Will be attending anything to celebrate Juneteenth in your community? Are you looking for volunteers to assist?

Add your event or volunteer opportunity to our list above of local Juneteenth celebrations, or get involved. Hopefully, this helps present opportunities for participation and connects members of the community.