Juneteenth Celebration June 8-9 at Chautauqua County Fairgrounds

The Juneteenth 2013 Celebration Committee re-cently met to finalize plans for the 18th annual June-teenth Celebration to be held in the city of Dunkirk. Celebration days for this year will be June 8-9 at the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds in Floral Hall.

Juneteenth is an occasion to celebrate and commemorate one of the most important events in American history. On Sept. 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation stating that on Jan. 1, 1863, he would declare the slaves free who resided in states that did not return to the Union. It was on June 19, 1865, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation, General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas, with General Order No. 3 advising that the war had ended and the enslaved were now free. In the late 1800s, the state of Texas started celebrating Juneteenth, which today, is a state holiday. Over the years, the celebration has spread to other states.

In 1996, citizens of the Dunkirk-Fredonia community co-sponsored the first Juneteenth Celebration to be observed in Chautauqua County. The main goal of this celebration is to commemorate and perpetuate the heritage, cultural and contributions of African Americans. Juneteenth is a family-based event with a wide variety of entertainment, historical and cultural.

For more information, contact the following 2013 committee chairs: June-teenth Auction Allison Harrison 467-5353; Ven-dors Sandra Lewis 672-2183; Health Fair Laurie Williams 785-3668; Educa-tion Fair Tasha Coleman 487-6039; Souvenir Journal Bianca Moore 467-0280; and Gospel Fest Frank Torain 363-1102.