12-10-2016  10:07 pm      •     

Portland's Junteenth celebrations are Saturday, June 20, with a Freedom Parade at 11 a.m. down Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, between NE Jarrett and NE Knott streets.
The parade ends at Jefferson High School at N. Killingsworth Street and N. Commercial Avenue, where the annual Juneteenth Festival will take place from 12:30 to 9 pm. There will be delicious food, musical artists, special guest speakers, arts and craft vendors, prizes, a play area for children, and much more.
In Seattle, the Juneteenth Celebration Parade features a doggie parade with judging in more than a dozen categories, Saturday June 20 at noon, kicking off at 25th & E. Alder. Judging of the marchers follows, at Pratt Park.
 Although President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in September 1862, it was not until June 19, 1865 — more than two years later — that freedom came to the last enslaved Americans in Texas. 
As an added event this year in Portland, Juneteenth organizers joined the Oregon Lincoln Bicentennial Committee to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln with a re-dedication of the Lincoln statue in downtown Portland's Park Blocks at SW Jefferson Street. 
A special ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. at the statue, and feature an appearance by Miss Black Oregon 2009 and well-known Lincoln impersonator, Steve Holgate.
"While Portland's Juneteenth celebration may be small and not yet as prominent as in most other cities," said Doris Rush, Juneteenth committee chair, "we still believe that everyone should be exposed to the debt owed to Black people for providing more than 200 years of free labor, and join in celebrating our freedom as Americans."
For more information, visit www.juneteenthpdx.org.

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