Above, Mayor Jane Hughson presents a Juneteenth proclmation to members of the Juneteenth Foundation, Inc. and Dunbar Heritage Association on June 7 at City Hall. Daily Record photo by Nick Castillo
Dunbar Heritage Association, Juneteenth Foundation to host upcoming celebrations
The Dunbar Heritage Association will host a community Juneteenth Celebration Sunday, June 19 from 2-7 p.m. at Dunbar Park, located at 801 Martin Luther King Drive.
“The theme this year is fathers, family, and freedom, so we are going to be honoring fathers,” said Alex Banbury, president of the Dunbar Heritage Association. “One thing that’s important about the DHA is that we will always celebrate Juneteenth on the 19th, whatever day the 19th falls on. This year it happened to land on Father’s Day.”
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally-celebrated commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which became effective Jan. 1, 1863, freeing slaves in the Confederate States.
In the Republic of Texas, slavery continued for another two and a half years, until two months after the Civil War had ended. On that day, in Galveston, Texas, slaves finally learned of their freedom.
The first Juneteenth or Jubilee Day celebrations took place on June 19, 1866. Finally, Juneteenth was made a federal holiday June 19, 2021.
“We will open the celebration by reading the proclamation by General Grant, stating that the slaves were free,” Banbury said. The commemoration will continue at the Dunbar Recreation Center, where there will be games, food, vendors, crafts and activities, both indoor and out, for children and adults alike.
“We’re bringing back one of our African clothing vendors,” Banbury said, “We’ll have a natural hair vendor. Also, we’re bringing back Thee Duo by popular demand. This is their second year performing for Juneteenth. They will close out the event on Sunday.”
This year’s Juneteenth celebration will also feature music by Harmony Gospel as well as a silent auction. Nana Osakwa of AhoufeDua Textiles will provide Authentic Ghanian Clothing.
The celebration will continue Monday, June 20 with the DHA Juneteenth 2022 Run through the Dunbar neighborhood at 7:30 a.m., starting at the corner of MLK and Endicott at the Dunbar Recreation Center.
“It’s not really a 5K,” Banbury explained. “Right now, we’re just running through the neighborhood, but it will be something we’ll do every year. This year, it’s a trial run.”
Registration for the run is $45 and prizes will be awarded. For details about the run and to register for the event, contact Mittie Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org. A map and run details are located at the Eventbrite Registration page: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dha-juneteenth-2022-run-tickets-357752115207
The Dunbar Heritage Association was founded in 1999 by local historian Harvey Miller. The mission of the Dunbar Heritage Association is the cultural preservation of the historically black Dunbar neighborhood through social practices, traditions, rituals, knowledge, spiritual beliefs, language and artistic expression.
The Dunbar Heritage Association has hosted their annual MLK Day March and Celebration and the Harvey Miller Day of Service in San Marcos for 20 years. For more information about the DHA and Juneteenth, visit the website at DHASMTX.com
The Juneteenth Foundation Inc. will host the 2022 Juneteenth Charity BBQ Cook-Off on Friday, June 17 and Saturday, June 18. The event will take place at Plaza Park from 1-9 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The annual Juneteenth Unity Walk will take place on Saturday, June 18. The parade will start lining up at 9 a.m. at the intersection of LBJ and MLK Drives. The parade will traverse through Downtown San Marcos and end at the Dunbar Rec Center, where there will be special guests to bless the event and a special presentation honoring Juneteenth History.