Join in on the Juneteenth Arkansas Festival on Saturday, June 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Juneteenth is a commemoration of the emancipation of enslaved people in the US. The holiday was first celebrated in Texas, where on that date in 1865, in the aftermath of the Civil War, slaves were declared free under the terms of the 1862 Emancipation Proclamation.

"Juneteenth is a necessary moment of observation because our nation and our culture has not acknowledged the trauma of 4 million enslaved people and their descendants," says Karlos Hill, the Associate Professor and Chair of the Clara Luper Department of African and African American Studies at the University of Oklahoma. "It hasn’t acknowledged the impact this institution has had on this country and continues to have on this country. There hasn’t been a national accounting, Juneteenth holiday is a reminder of that."

The festival activities start with a parade that begins at 10 a.m. on Ninth Street by the Mosiac Templars Cultural Center and end at Interstate Park. At the park, attendees are invited to participate in kickball, food, water slides, vendors, music, a kid zone, African cultural education and more. 

All potential vendors must register with Juneteenth Arkansas. For more information visit the Juneteenth Arkansas Festival website