The City of Groveland continually strives to provide educational opportunities for residents and guests to appreciate its diverse community. In honor of Juneteenth, Groveland will join in with numerous other cities across the nation in celebrating the historically monumental liberation of all African American slaves in America. This community event is the first of its kind in the city, and will occur Saturday, June 19, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Lake David Park, located at 450 South Lake Avenue in Groveland. This inaugural celebration is free and open to the public.

“Juneteenth marks a significant day in history for our entire nation,” said Mayor Evelyn Wilson. “We hope that by celebrating this event, it helps to bring awareness for some, but education for all.”

The word “Juneteenth,” also known as Freedom Day, is a condensed term for June 19, and commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States. Despite President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation officially outlawing slavery in 1863, it was not until June 19, 1865 that the enslaved people of Texas received the news, delivered by Union Army General, Gordon Granger. Although Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery, many Americans have remained unaware of its existence and significance.

Groveland’s Juneteenth celebration will feature local guest speakers to include elected officials and Groveland native Dr. Rick Adams, President and CEO of Mindway International, LLC. The commemoration will also showcase live musical performances, various food and craft vendors, family activities, African Congolese Tribal performances, raffle prizes and more. Guests will have a rare opportunity to try first-time Juneteenth related food items, from participating food vendors. Each vendor will serve at least one customary celebratory food item, which symbolizes the resilience and remembrance of former slaves. As a bonus to attendees, the first 100 guests will receive a free savory treat from one of our vendors!

Although the celebration will include a variety of fun activities, the goal of this event is to encourage participants to educate themselves on the significance of Juneteenth and the importance of cultural awareness and racial equality.

The event will be livestreamed to the City’s Facebook page for those residents who are unable to attend in person.

The City of Groveland invites all interested attendees to join in this positive celebratory conversation. For more information on participating vendors and additional updates for this event, please follow the City’s Facebook page @CityofGroveland, or visit www.Groveland-fl.gov.

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