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N.C. State Parks Celebrates Juneteenth

Juneteenth celebrates freedom in the United States. It is also known as Emancipation Day and Juneteenth Day of Freedom. On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Tex., and announced the end of the Civil War and the end of slavery.

Although the Emancipation Proclamation came 2 and a half years earlier on January 1, 1863, many slaveholders continued to hold people captive after the announcement, so Juneteenth became a symbolic date representing African American freedom.


Video from N.C. Museum of History

Video courtesy of the N.C. Museum of History


Juneteenth Facts

  • June 19, 1865, marks the date that Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Tex., and announced the end of both the Civil War and slavery. His announcement, General Order Number 3, reads:
    "The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and right of property, between former masters and slaves and the connection heretofore existing between them, becomes that between employer and hired labor. The Freedmen are advised to remain at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts; and they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere."
  • The 1865 is largely symbolic. The Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln had legally freed slaves in Texas on January 1, 1863, almost 2 and a half year earlier. Even after the general order, some slaveholders withheld the information and continued to keep people enslaved.
  • Texants cleebrate Juneteenth beginning in 1866 with community events, such as parades, cookouts, prayer gatherings, historical and cultural readings, and musical performances. Over time, communities have developed new traditions. Some communities purchase land for Juneteenth celebrations, such as Emancipation Park in Houston. As families emigrated from Texas to other parts of the United States, they carried the Juneteenth celebrations with them.
  • In 2021, Juneteenth officially became a federal holiday. It has been a state holiday in Texas since January 1, 1980.
  • Juneteenth is a day when everyone can celebrate our nation's continuing efforts to create a more perfect union. It represents the American ideals of freedom, liberty, equality, and opportunity.


Juneteenth Events

Collage of various parks with the Juneteenth banner


743 Chimney Rock Park Road, Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock State Park is hosting a Juneteenth Storywalk from June 12, 2022 through June 20, 2022. During these days, the Great Woodland Adventure Trail at Chimney Rock access will feature pages from the book "Juneteenth For Mazie" by Floyd Cooper. Enjoy nature while learning about the history of Juneteenth!

Date of Event:
Sunday, June 12, 2022 - 8:00am to Monday, June 20, 2022 - 5:00pm
Start Location:
Great Woodland Adventure Trail
7321 N.C. 126, Nebo

Juneteenth Field Day is a FREE event sponsored by the West Marion Community Forum and the Friends of Lake James State Park. This fun-filled day will include swimming, canaoe and kayak rentals and instruction, beach volleyball, badmitten, cornhole, fishing clinic, crafts, food trucks, history hike, and more. Come for the day, or just a few hours, but don't miss it!

Date of Event:
Friday, June 17, 2022 - 10:00am to 4:00pm
Start Location:
Paddy's Creek Area
8801 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh

Save the date! Join us as N.C. State Parks celebrates Juneteenth for a breakfast celebration at the Reedy Creek access of William B. Umstead State Park.

We will be honoring James Johnson, the first black superintendent at Reedy Creek State Park. Activities include Story Trail hikes, horseshoes, fishing, and more!

Date of Event:
Saturday, June 18, 2022 - 9:00am to 2:00pm
Start Location:
Reedy Creek access, 2100 N. Harrison Ave., Cary, NC 27513