SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, June 18, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Mayor Jackie Biskupski will proclaim Wednesday “Juneteenth Day” in Salt Lake City in recognition of the final abolition of slavery following the Civil War as part of Utah’s 30th annual Utah Juneteenth Freedom and Heritage Festival.
Observed annually on June 19 across the U.S., Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery, said a news release from the Mayor’s Office. Its name stems from the date that the last group of slaves were emancipated in Texas on June 19,1865 — two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, ending the Civil War.
“Juneteenth is an important commemoration of our country’s march toward freedom for African Americans,” Biskupski said. “It’s also an opportunity to celebrate the contributions African Americans have made to our community.”
Wednesday’s event at Salt Lake City’s Gallivan Center is the last in a series of celebrations held throughout the month of June across the state.
The Health & Heritage with Excellence in the Community celebration, which runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. includes live entertainment, ethnic food, games for all ages, along with health information and screenings provided by the Wellness Bus and the Utah Department of Health.
At 5:30 p.m. Mayor Biskupski will join other community leaders in speaking at the event, which is made possible through a collaboration between the state of Utah, the Salt Lake Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Utah Black Chamber of Commerce.