Juneteenth is an annual celebration of freedom marking the emancipation of slavery. On June 19, 1865, over two years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas and finally told the last African American slaves of their freedom. This year marks our 36th annual Juneteenth celebration at Pratt Park, whose namesake Edwin Pratt was a trailblazer of the Civil Rights movement.
Our festival remembers this day in history providing the public an opportunity to learn about the historical significance of the event and celebrate freedom with community. Juneteenth is a vital commemoration not only for the African diaspora, but for everyone in the Central District, Seattle and King County. The event is rooted in history but looks to bridge today’s community, a task more important than ever in the Central District. Providing both cultural education and healing, Juneteenth evokes the feeling of a family reunion, with event highlights including: live music, spoken word, dance, art activities for kids, food, local small business vendors and community organizations including the host, the Central Area Chamber of Commerce