Celebrating Juneteenth: Local Events and History

Juneteenth, also known as Jubilee Day, Freedom Day, Emancipation Day, or Black Independence Day, is the anniversary of when General Gordon Granger marched his troops into Galveston, Texas on June 19th, 1865 to announce that the enslaved people of the state were officially free. This was two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation in January of 1863, and six months before the 13th Amendment was ratified, which officially banned slavery in the United States. Juneteenth has been celebrated since 1866 and was recognized as an official Texas state holiday in 1980. In 2021, it was finally recognized as an official Federal holiday, and Massachusetts made it a Paid Day Off in 2022.

Juneteenth is a day to celebrate freedom, remember those who have fought for civil rights, and renew the spirit of equality in our lives. There are many events and ways to celebrate Juneteenth in the Central MA area!

Juneteenth Flag Raising: Friday, June 14th at Worcester City Hall at 5 pm

Black Heritage Juneteenth Festival: Saturday, June 15th at Institute Park in Worcester, 12 pm to 8 pm

The History of Emancipation & Juneteenth: Monday, June 17th at the Shrewsbury Public Library, 6:30 pm – 8 pm

Juneteenth Celebration at Fitchburg Abolitionist Park and Frederick Douglas Reading: Wednesday, June 19th, 11 am – 1 pm

Buy Black Market: Wednesday, June 19th at Fitchburg City Hall, 5 pm – 9 pm

Free Admission at the Worcester Art Museum on Juneteenth

Free Admission and activities at Old Sturbridge Village on Juneteenth

The Worcester Black History Trail is open and free all year round!

A square with the red, black, and green stripes of the Pan-African Flag and gold text that reads: "Independence Day, Jubilee Day, Juneteenth, Emancipation Day, Freedom Day," with "Juneteenth" centered on the square and bolded for emphasis. A mini LUK logo appears in white in the bottom right corner.