Juneteenth will once again be celebrated at Lillis-Albina Park in North Portland with a parade and a full slate of musical performances.
The event, which runs from June 17 to 18, is produced by PDX Jazz. The groups performing include Cupid, BridgeCity Soul, Kirk Green, Greater Kind, Jason Neville, Funky Soul Band, BridgeCity Jazz, Tyrone Hendrix, Jubu Smith, Alonzo Chadwick, Arietta Ward and Saeeda Wright.
Every year, Juneteenth Oregon celebrations commence with a parade, followed by live music, art, food, educational booths and a children’s play area.
The parade is open to schools, clubs, churches, organizations, bands, teams, bikers and walkers. Participants can register on Juneteenth Oregon’s website or by calling 503-267-4686.
Juneteenth, also known as Independence Day or Freedom Day, commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of slavery, when Union Gen. Gordon Granger read General Orders No. 3 to the people of Galveston, Texas: ”The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.”
While Juneteenth did not become a federal holiday until 2021, it has long been celebrated in Oregon, dating back to 1945 (when community leader Clara Peoples introduced the tradition to her co-workers at the Kaiser Shipyards in Portland).