05 23 2015
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Portland Juneteenth

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the end of slavery in America. On Saturday, June 20, 2015, all Portlanders are invited to join a very special celebration of freedom.

Annually, millions of people across the U.S. join the African-American community to recognize "Juneteenth," a commemoration of the liberation of the last slaves on June 19, 1865 in Galveston, Texas. Today in Texas, Juneteenth is a recognized state holiday.

In Portland, on June 20, the day will begin with a community parade down Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, starting at 11:00 am. From 12 Noon to 6:00 pm, a public festival will be held at Legacy Field on NE Vancouver Avenue at NE Russell Street. The event features musical performances by local artists, a marketplace, delicious foods, and a Kids Fun space with games, crafts and bounce-houses.

Portland is the first and only city in the U.S. to host an Historic Pavilion featuring actors portraying historical figures like Harriet Tubman, who in character tell their amazing life stories to adults and children.

This year, organizers are planning the largest program yet thanks to generous sponsors like Wells Fargo Bank, Legacy Health Systems, and The Skanner News Group and support from the City of Portland.

The Juneteenth planning group is seeking more volunteers, vendors and sponsors. Please contact us at juneteenthoregon@gmail.com or call 503-381-0056 to join this milestone celebration of freedom.

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