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Ways to Commemorate Juneteenth In and Around Hopewell Valley

by Mary Galioto

As communities across the Country prepare to commemorate Juneteenth, several local events offer a chance to celebrate freedom and reflect on the historical significance of June 19, 1865. Here’s a roundup o mark this pivotal moment in American history:

What We Commemorate on Juneteenth (Virtual)

Juneteenth became a federally recognized holiday in 2021, but do we understand what this day represents? On Thursday, June 13, 6:30pm, Dr. Richard Bell, Professor of History at the University of Maryland, will discuss the struggles of enslaved African Americans during the Civil War and the events leading up to their emancipation on June 19, 1865. The event is sponsored by the Friends of the West Windsor Library. Please visit www.mcl.org to register to receive the link to the program.

Mercer County Juneteenth Celebration

The African American Cultural Collaborative of Mercer County will host a day-long festival at the Mercer County Park Festival Grounds on Saturday, June 15, from noon to 8pm. It will be filled with music, performances, food, and festivities. Hosted by Kevin “Deekay” Francois, the event will showcase the talents of singer Vivian Green, Farafina Kan, Lin Rountree, DJ Fatha Ramzee, the Cintron Band, Chelsey Green, and the Green Project, DJ Ed Ward, Queen Samut, and many more! See https://www.taacf.com for more information.

Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum’s “Freedom Forward” Event

The Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum will hold its third annual Juneteenth event, “Freedom Forward,” on June 15, from noon to 4pm. Located at 189 Hollow Road in Skillman, New Jersey, this family-friendly gathering will feature live Gospel music, original plays, interactive games, and a variety of cuisines, including vegan options. Visitors can also enjoy guided tours of the historic Mt. Zion AME church and explore the Heritage Garden to connect with the rich African American history of the Sourland Mountain Region. Please see https://www.ssaamuseum.org/juneteenth-2024 for more information.

Washington Crossing Historic / Bucks County, PA Event

On June 23, from 3 to 7pm, Washington Crossing Historic Park in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, will host an afternoon of special events. The park will educate visitors about the contributions of Black American soldiers during the Revolutionary War and Civil War as well as what Juneteenth is and why its legacy is so important today. This will be followed by a living history hour and a concert by The Quake Band. This educational and entertaining session is designed to deepen understanding of the historical context of Juneteenth while fostering community engagement. Please see https://www.washingtoncrossingpark.org/event/juneteenth-celebration-2024/ for more information.

Whether you’re looking to connect with history, enjoy great music, or spend time with family and friends, these events offer an opportunity to honor the historical emancipation of enslaved African Americans and the significant contributions of Black individuals throughout America’s history. 

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Contact us: [email protected]

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