Harrisonburg City Council members to host Juneteenth celebration downtown

Harrisonburg City Council members to host Juneteenth celebration downtown

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) – Though Juneteenth is not until Wednesday, June 19, the community will have the opportunity to celebrate the holiday this Sunday at Pale Fire Brewing Co. in downtown Harrisonburg.

Juneteenth is a national holiday recognizing the end of slavery in the U.S. after the Civil War. The holiday was first celebrated in Texas, where on that date in 1865, word reached the state that the enslaved people had been freed under the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation.

In Harrisonburg, the event is hosted by Mayor Deanna Reed and Councilman Christopher Jones, who also works for WHSV, as a way for people to remember America’s second independence day and celebrate as a community.

“It’s just a day of celebration,” Reed said. “A day of being together, of celebrating our heritage. This is our first time being at this location, at Pale Fire, so we’re excited for us to continue this great celebration.”

Harrisonburg City Council voted to recognize Juneteenth as a holiday in 2020, and President Joe Biden signed legislation to make it a federally recognized holiday a year later. The event was first held in Harrisonburg in 2021 and continues to be a place where people from all walks of life can come together to uplift each other and recognize the rich history of the community.

“One of the best ways that African Americans have always celebrated is with food, dancing and music, building community, coming together and networking with one another,” Jones said. “That’s what you’re going to be able to expect on June 16, here at Pale Fire.”

The event will run from 3 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 16, at Pale Fire Brewing Co. on South Liberty Street in downtown. Staff members from Sentara RMH will also be present during the event to take blood pressure and provide activities for children.

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