PORT ARTHUR —
Port Arthur is gearing up to celebrate Juneteenth with a list of activities including a two-day kids camp, pageant and parade.
The African American Cultural Society has organized the event or a number of years and Fabiola Small, a member of the group, wants others to know the importance of Juneteenth.
“It’s important for us to know our freedoms and equality are there for us and we appreciate what God has done for us,” Small said.
Port Arthur Public Library will host the two-day Kids Camp from noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 10 and Wednesday, June 11. Children’s librarian Carolyn Thibodeaux is heading up the event.
A Cultural Pageant will be held at 6 p.m. June 17 at Israel Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, 948 Freeman Ave. The 2014-2015 Ms. Juneteenth will be crowned during the event.
Port Arthur Juneteenth’s Parade is set for June 19. Lineup begins at 5 p.m. at Stilwell Boulevard and Procter Street. Floats, cars and walkers are invited.
Entertainment will immediately follow at Barbara Jacket Park, on Gillam Circle.
All of the events are open to the public and free of charge.
This year marks the 151st anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Though Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Sept. 22, 1862, the law was not to become effective until Jan. 1, 1863. Texas, as part of the Confederacy, was not quick to embrace the new law.
Juneteenth commemorates June 18 and 19, 1865 when Union General Gordon Ranger and 2,000 federal troops arrived in Galveston to take possession of the state and enforce the emancipation of its slaves.
• Tuesday, June 10 and Wednesday, June 11 — Kids Camp, Noon to 2 p.m., Port Arthur Library, 4615 Ninth Ave.
• Tuesday, June 17 — Juneteenth Cultural Pageant, 6 p.m., Israel Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, 948 Freeman Ave.
• Thursday, June 19 — Parade; line-up begins at 5 p.m. at Stilwell and Procter, parade starts at 6 p.m.
• Entertainment to follow parade at Barbara Jacket Park on Gillam Circle
For more information, contact Naomi Bailey at 983-6808 or Johnny Hulin at 982-1387.