By Heather Madsen
While many of us celebrate our nation’s independence next month on the 4th of July, there is an equally important, second national independence day just around the corner: Juneteenth. Juneteenth is the name given to June 19, 1865, when the enslaved people in Texas were finally informed of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, two and a half years after it was signed, and told that they were free. This event marked the long-awaited beginning of the end of slavery in our nation. The year afterward the freed men and women held a celebration on June 19th and that tradition has been carried forward since, and last year it was officially recognized as a federal holiday. This year, The Gateway is inviting everyone to come celebrate Black joy and Juneteenth with the community this Monday the 20th.
This all-day, free event will kick off at 10 am at the State Capital building where the Beloved Community Juneteenth Celebration Walk starts. The walk will end at the Salt Lake City & County building and then the celebration will move to the Gateway. The rest of the festivities start at noon and go until dusk. Activities include a Black Art Exhibit, Black Owned Businesses Expo, entertainment, food trucks, activities for kids, roller skating, shopping, movie night, and so much more! Plus, if you register for the event ahead of time, you also get a free roller skate rental and raffle ticket!
It’s going to be a beautiful day of celebration, community support, and fun for the whole family. Plus, this is a great opportunity for Black-owned businesses to network, receive support and recognition for their work and goods, and build back their businesses after the pandemic. So bring your family and come join us in elevating Black voices, Supporting Black businesses, and joining in the celebration of Black joy.
For more information visit the event website at saltlakejuneteenth.org.