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Juneteenth Celebration To Take Place In McAdams Park

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The 2016 Juneteenth celebration culminates this Saturday at McAdams Park in Wichita.

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, General Gordon Granger of the Union Army proclaimed the slaves of Texas free, two-and-a-half years after President Abraham Lincoln's emancipation of the slaves, which became official on January 1, 1863.

For the local observance of Juneteenth, organizer Djuan Wash says a host of events will take place.

"We actually have the mayor and vice mayor of our city, Jeff Longwell and Lavonta Williams, coming out to welcome everybody to McAdams Park and to Juneteenth Day," Wash says. "We also have a candidate forum which is a really, really important aspect of what we are doing this year, and it provides an opportunity for people who are running for office to come out and speak to the community."

A health fair, basketball tournaments, baseball games, a poetry slam and food are also part of the celebrations.

Additional events are also available, including a teen summit and a block party on Friday.

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Carla Eckels is assistant news director and the host of Soulsations. Follow her on Twitter @Eckels.

 
To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.