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Denver Juneteenth parade and celebration

Celebrate Emancipation Day
Celebrate Emancipation Day
Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Five Points Neighborhood

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

10am to 6pm


Admittedly, I had never heard of Juneteenth until I moved to Denver. A fusion of “June” and “Nineteenth,” Juneteenth is a celebration of Freedom Day, June 19, 1865 otherwise known as Emancipation Day for the slaves. That was the date the Texas slaves learned they had been freed. It is celebrated day across the U.S. and an official state holiday in Texas.

In the 1960’s, African Americans had grown tired of being reminded of slavery, which caused Juneteenth to dwindle in popularity. The 1970’s brought a renewed interest in African American heritage. A bill to make Juneteenth an official, paid holiday passed in 1979, creating a new Juneteenth spirit. The first official celebration of the holiday occurred in 1980. Since 2008, 26 states have made Juneteenth a state holiday or state holiday observance, Colorado included.

This Saturday, join in on the Juneteenth celebration in the historic Five-Points neighborhood. This year’s theme is “We Define Who We Are.” Be at Manual High School at 10am, the traditional starting point for the annual Juneteenth Parade. The parade meanders through the streets, where it eventually ends on Welton Street.

There will be live entertainment, a variety of food, wares, and demonstrations/Displays ranging from health, education, tennis and a tribute to Father’s Award Presentation. Live entertainment this year includes well-known local artists, such as SistaSoul, Wil Guice, Dae Dai. Stick around for the special gospel tribute.

For more information about the history of Juneteenth, the celebration, list of vendors or entertainment, click here:


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