City of Gainesville invites residents to join them on the Journey to Juneteenth

Press release from the City of Gainesville

What is Journey to Juneteenth?

While Juneteenth (June 19) is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of emancipation, freedom was proclaimed in Florida on May 20, 1865, nearly two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the proclamation. One month later, on June 19, 1865, Union soldiers finally arrived in Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and the enslaved were free.

The City of Gainesville’s month-long Journey to Juneteenth celebration, from Florida Emancipation Day (May 20) through the widely-recognized Juneteenth holiday (June 19), honors the long and turbulent journey to freedom while staying true to our history of Florida Emancipation on May 20

2023 Journey to Juneteenth Calendar of Events

Friday, May 19

Journey to Juneteenth kickoff
9 a.m., City Hall Plaza, 200 E. University Ave.
Reading of Juneteenth proclamation and raising of Juneteenth flag at City Hall.

Saturday, May 20 | Emancipation Day

Celebration of Florida Emancipation Day
9 a.m.-3 p.m., Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center, 837 SE Seventh Ave.
Events include a neighborhood parade, placing of flags on mock graves of fallen soldiers, food, and fun for the entire family.

Saturday, June 3

Enstoolment Celebration (ticketed event)
5-8 p.m., Best Western Gateway Grand, 4200 NW 97th Blvd.
In honor of Vivian Washington Filer, she will be given a royal stool and designated with the honorary title of Queen Mother.

Saturday, June 4

The History of the Seminole Nation: Unchained and Unconquered
6-9 p.m., Oak View Park, 810 NW Eighth Ave.
The event features music, art, poetry, a lecture, and a Q&A period.

Saturday, June 10

Juneteenth Film Festival
5:30-9:30 p.m., A Quinn Jones Museum & Cultural Center, 1013 NW Seventh Ave.
Featuring “Soul of America: The Charles Bradley Story,” “One More Time” and “Sarah’s Place: The Sarah McKnight Story.”

Sunday, June 11

Smooth Flava Gainesville
11 a.m.-4 p.m., Bo Diddley Plaza, 111 E. University Ave.
Join Smooth Flava for a community line dance party!

Thursday, June 15

Storytime at Depot Park
10:30 a.m., Depot Park, 874 SE Fourth St.
Children and caregivers can read, laugh, and sing at an outdoor story time led by library staff.

Juneteenth: Rejoice, Reflect, Remember
12-8 p.m., Blount Center, 530 W. University Ave.
Join the Santa Fe College Association of Black Faculty and staff for a celebration that includes food trucks, arts and crafts, a historical tour, youth activities, live entertainment, and more.

Friday, June 16

Expressions of Freedom – Juneteenth breakfast (ticketed event)
7:30 a.m., Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center, 837 SE Seventh Ave.
Enjoy a wonderful meal and awesome music.

SYNERGY Magazine Launch (ticketed event)
6 p.m., Thomas Center, 302 NE Sixth Ave.
The SYNERGY unveil is an elegant reception held to unveil the 2023 Edition of SYNERGY.

Saturday, June 17

Freedom Walk 5K
7-11 a.m., Depot Park, 874 SE Fourth St.
5K is meant to educate and engage the Gainesville community on the rich history, legacy, and resilience of Black and African Americans locally and nationally.

Freedom Fest 2023
4-9 p.m., Bo Diddley Plaza, 111 E. University Ave.
Music and arts festival – musical performances, vendors, children’s zone, food, and drinks.

Monday, June 19 | Juneteenth

Reaching Back to Move Forward
10 a.m.-2 p.m., Downtown Gainesville
Unveiling of Sankofa statue honoring Dr. Patricia Hilliard-Nunn, drum procession, local history, motorcycle parade, music, and more.

  • This December I expect that the city will sponsor a Kwanzaa advent month, and maybe even a Festivus advent month.

  • Heaven forbid we try to make the most of the present and move forward as best we can.

  • Another opportunity for the Left to drag up our so called ‘racist’ past. More race baiting promotion to keep the division REAL.

  • “Juneteenth” a ‘celebration’ of a culture of crime and fatherless homes. The truth will set you free.

  • Yes, another holiday that the federal government hijacked in 2021. I am tired of this Woke movement to once again stoke the fire to make a specific group feel like they are still segregated and inferior in this country. This holiday has been celebrated for years without having to make it a federal holiday or have a month long celebration. I wonder if Wokeville will have a month long road to Independence Day. Truth is at least in Florida the Spanish imported slaves in the early 1500s almost a century before the slaves were imported under British Rule.

    • And yes I realized the Florida Emancipation Day was May 20th following the end of the civil war. And that day is still celebrated with passion. But we dont need a month till Juneteenth.

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