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Apopka Weekend

Apopka celebrates Juneteenth

1st Annual parade begins at 2 pm; Festival at Alonzo Williams Park begins at 3:30 pm


After decades of being celebrated at mostly the local level, Juneteenth – the long-standing holiday commemorating the arrival of news of emancipation and freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, in 1865 – became a federal holiday in 2021.

The History of Juneteenth

On “Freedom’s Eve,” or the eve of January 1, 1863, the first Watch Night services took place. On that night, enslaved and free African Americans gathered in churches and private homes all across the country, awaiting news that the Emancipation Proclamation had taken effect. At the stroke of midnight, prayers were answered as all enslaved people in the Confederate States were declared legally free. Union soldiers, many of whom were black, marched onto plantations and across cities in the South, reading small copies of the Emancipation Proclamation and spreading the news of freedom in the Confederate States. Only through the Thirteenth Amendment did emancipation end slavery throughout the United States.

But not everyone in Confederate territory would immediately be free. Even though the Emancipation Proclamation was made effective in 1863, it could not be implemented in places still under Confederate control. As a result, in the westernmost Confederate state of Texas, enslaved people would not be free until much later. Freedom finally came on June 19, 1865, when some 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas. The army announced that the more than 250,000 enslaved black people in the state were free by executive decree. This day came to be known as "Juneteenth" by the newly freed people in Texas. 

In Apopka, it's an opportunity to recommit to the spirit of Juneteenth

On Juneteenth, we recommit ourselves to the work of equity, equality, and justice. And, we celebrate the centuries of struggle, courage, and hope that has brought us to this time of progress and possibility. That work has been led throughout our history by abolitionists and educators, civil rights advocates and lawyers, courageous activists and trade unionists, public officials, and everyday Americans who have helped make real the ideals of our founding documents for all.

The Apopka JUNETEENTH Freedom Day Celebration will provide a family outing with a kid’s corner, music, live performances, education, food, art, culture, Apopka historical displays, and much more.  This event will help raise funds for the community and provide networking opportunities for small and startup businesses, but more importantly, it will also raise awareness for our cause across the community.

Apopka Juneteenth 5th Annual Event and 1st Annual Parade

Saturday, June 15th, from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Alonzo Williams Park 515 South Hawthorne Ave Apopka 32703

The parade, which starts at 2 p.m., departs from 519 South Central Avenue, right on to 10th Street, then right on to M.A. Board Street, ending at Alonzo Williams Park, 225 M.A. Board Street.

The festival starts at 3:30 pm at Alonzo Williams Park.

Apopka, Juneteenth, Freedom Day, Orlando, Orange County, Ocoee


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