Juneteenth event grew from small block party to community celebration

Published 12:00 pm Monday, June 10, 2024

The Juneteenth celebration started in Oxford more than 15 years ago when residents living on and near Martin Luther King Jr. Drive would gather with friends and family to celebrate.

The event grew yearly from a small neighborhood block party with around 10 vendors to about 70 at last year’s event.

The celebration will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. in the Central Elementary School parking lot.

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The new federal holiday is officially June 19; however, since it falls on a weekday, the local celebration will be held on Saturday.

Kids will enjoy waterslides, bounce houses and arts and crafts while adults can browse vendors and support small local businesses.

Due to its growth over the years, the celebration moved from the streets in the Martin Luther King Drive neighborhood into the nearby Central Elementary School parking lot.

On June 19, 1865, Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger led the Union Soldiers to Galveston, Texas to announce the end of the war and the freedom of all enslaved people.

Three years ago, Pres. Joe Biden signed a resolution establishing June 19 as a federal holiday.