PITTSBURGH – A grand June 19th celebration is in the works to honor the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States.
Officials say it is a well-deserved moment highlighting the diversity and advancement locally and across the state.
Pittsburgh community leaders met Wednesday to announce a series of plans and celebrations for June 19th.
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Known to many as Freedom Day on June 19, Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery in the United States.
The organizers say this is a historic moment and so it is especially important after recent events.
Additionally, the city and county were the first in Pennsylvania to make it a legislative holiday after the governor declared it a state holiday.
“When we started this planning in 2020 we didn’t know what the circumstances would be. But we tried hard to make it happen and then we brought in sponsors to help us build this program,” he told William Marshall, Founder and CEO of WPA Juneteenth and Pittsburgh Black Music.
Here is a full list of the events:
- June 12: Kick-off party on June 19 in Chartiers Park (West End) from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- June 18-20, 19th Youth Sports Festival in Mellon Park, daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- June 18-20, Pittsburgh-Allegheny Co. Celebration of the Nineteenth Day of Freedom at Point State Park, 11am to 9pm daily.
- Black Voting Rights, 19th Anniversary Parade on June 26th in downtown Pittsburgh from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- June 21-27, Pittsburgh Black Music Fest at Point State Park, 11 am-9pm daily.
- On-site COVID vaccination programs June 18-20 with UPMC, Gateway Health & ANH.
- Juneteenth-Minority Vendors Economic Impact Plaza on Penn and Liberty Streets between Stanwix Street and Commonwealth Place June 18-20 and June 24-27.
- Healthy heart dance competition and attempt to set up the Guinness Book of World Record for the longest soul train line dance with New Cupid from national Cupid Shuffle on June 20th.
- Seventh Annual Black Tie Honors Gala, June 5th, 6pm – 10pm, at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh, hosted by Celebrity Actor and Pittsburgh naive, Lamman Rucker (Juneteenth Fundraiser).
All festival activities include in-person events and live streaming formats. The Centers for Disease Control and the Pennsylvania Department of Health are enforcing COVID-19 protocols and guidelines. Masks are required and temperature tests are performed.