Juneteenth Celebrations in Hampton Roads

This weekend communities in Hampton Roads- and all over the country- are celebrating Juneteenth. Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.  Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Slaves in Texas were some of the last in the country to realize their freedom

This important historical landmark is often commemorated with festivals, cookouts, and creative community celebrations of freedom. Hampton Roads offers several chances for your family to take part in the celebrations.

Newport News

Juneteenth Jubilee One Act Play will happen Friday at 7:00 p.m. at the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center in Newport News. It’s free for the public. The next day is the Juneteenth Freedom Festival starting at 11 a.m. and going on until 4 p.m. is at the Farmer’s Market located at 28th and Jefferson. There will be historic re-enactments, music, merchandise and food vendors, children’s crafts and activities and community resource information during this community celebration. Hourly tours of the Newsome House Museum and Cultural Arts Center will be offered. This event is also free and open to the public.

Virginia Beach

If you’re on the other side of the HRBT, consider attending the Juneteenth Celebration at the Francis Land House. The event is happening Friday, June 19 from 6 – 9 p.m. There will be a barbeque dinner, traditional songs by the Tidewater Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America, games and fellowship. This is all included in the $9 per person admission fee as well as a brief tour of the Francis Land House.

For all events in Hampton Roads, historic and modern, check out the hrScene.com Events Page!