The City of Bastrop will be hosting a Juneteenth Celebration starting at 9 a.m. on June 14 in Dotson Park. The day will be filled with live music, athletic activities and events for the entire family.
On the entertainment front, four different acts — Gave....Man in Christ, the McClendon Family, Gibert Wilson and Emmanuel Bradshaw will perform.
As of June 10, a basketball tournament and softball tournament are scheduled while jumpers will be provided for the kids. The Bastrop Police and Fire Departments will also be on hand with their equipment for demonstrations.
According to Africa Dowles, City Of Bastrop Public Works Dispatcher, the festivities ended at approximately 6 p.m. last year.
The City will be providing free popcorn, drinks and pickles while food and merchandise vendors will offer additional refreshments.
According to Shirley Stewart, Administrative Assistant for Mayor Arthur E. Jones, the city wants to honor Juneteenth and keep citizen spirits high.
"We wanted to let people know that we're not letting this go by," Stewart said. "We're trying as much as we can, and we are doing some active things to keep the morale of the city up."
Stewart also explained that the theme for this year is centered around author Maya Angelou who passed away this May. The Juneteenth t-shirts that will be available at the celebration pay homage to Angelou with a photograph and the words "Dream, Act, Believe."
According to Juneteenth.com, "Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free."
The site notes that this occurred two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which had become official January 1, 1863.