June 9 – In honor of the 42nd annual Juneteenth Festival in Buffalo, Mayor Byron Brown and members of the Juneteenth Festival committee raised the African Heritage Flag in Niagara Square.
“Buffalo is honored to host the largest Juneteenth celebration in the nation,” said Mayor Brown. “This festive and popular event preserves the African American culture in our City and gets better and better every year, bringing visitors to our City and providing an important celebration year after year for our residents citywide.”
Juneteenth is the oldest known observance of the ending of slavery in the United States. The celebration began on June 19, 1865, the day Major General Gordon Granger of the Union Army rode into Galveston, Texas in final execution of the Emancipation Proclamation - two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed it. Juneteenth celebrations today commemorate that memorable day in 1865 and emphasize the achievements of African Americans. Marked by community celebrations, guest speakers, picnics and family gatherings, it is a time for reflection and rejoicing, self-assessment and planning for the future.
The festival in Buffalo runs from Saturday, June 17 through Sunday, June 18 in Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, beginning with a parade on Saturday. There will be live entertainment performances, a vendor marketplace, food court, health pavilion, book fair, historical exhibits, children’s activities and more.