It was June 19, 1865 — two years after 16th President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation — when Major Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to declare that the Union had won the Civil War and, therefore, all formerly enslaved peoples were free. The celebration that day and the years after became known as June Nineteenth, eventually shortened to Juneteenth. Here’s how to celebrate Juneteenth this weekend in the Evansville area.

Ivy Tech Juneteenth Vendor Fair
11 a.m.-3 p.m. June 15
Ivy Tech Community College Koch Student Center, 3501 N. First Ave.
Meet Black-owned businesses and shop their products at this Juneteenth-themed vendor fair.

Freedom to Think, Read, & Write
5-7 p.m. June 15
Evansville African American Museum, 579 S. Garvin St.
Young artists will perform spoken word, poetry, and dance at this Soul Writer’s Guild event. Light refreshments will be served.

Historic Juneteenth photo provided by Evansville African American Museum

“For the People” Juneteenth Community Block Party Celebration Weekend
June 16-18
Corner of Culver Drive and Waggoner Avenue
Start the weekend with a flea market and free community barbecue. Saturday will feature a block party with food trucks, live performances, children’s activities, card games, poetry, and a fireworks display to end the day. Sunday’s activities include an outdoor church service by Greater Hope Church with Pastor J.C. Campbell and the praise and worship team Catalyst.

Lyles Station Juneteenth Celebration
11 a.m.-3 p.m. June 17
Lyles Station Historic School and Museum, 953 N. 500 W., Princeton, Indiana
This celebration at Indiana’s historic Black settlement will include Pastor William Smith as a guest speaker and live music performances by the Simmons Family, New Life Church of the Nazarene, and Claudette Greer Cook’s praise and dance team. Visitors can explore the schoolhouse and purchase a barbecue dinner from Tim’s Awesome BBQ.

Third Annual Juneteenth Negro League Tribute Baseball Game
5 p.m. June 17
Bosse Field, 23 Don Mattingly Way
This annual themed Evansville Otters game features inflatables, players in vintage replica Negro League baseball jerseys, and postgame fireworks. Free game tickets are available at the Evansville African American Museum.

Second Annual Juneteenth Celebration
4-7 p.m. June 19
Central Park, 10 S. Main St., Henderson, Kentucky
Enjoy food, musical entertainment, kid’s activities, and the work of Black vendors and artists while exploring the impact of Henderson, Kentucky’s Black residents.

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Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti joined Tucker Publishing Group in September 2022 as a staff writer. She graduated from Gettysburg College in 2020 with a bachelors degree in English. A Connecticut native, Maggie has ridden horses for 15 years and has hunt seat competition experience on the East Coast.

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