Renton’s Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 15, at Liberty Park brought local Black-owned businesses, Black performers and the entire community together to celebrate the recently designated national holiday. Taking place every year on June 19, Juneteenth is often described as the United States’ second Independence Day.

This is the history of Juneteenth, according to the National Museum of African American History and Culture:

“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.”

La Manda J. Davis holding her book “Surprise! It’s Just Pee!” - a children’s book about raising a cat. Photo by Bailey Jo Josie/Sound Publishing

La Manda J. Davis holding her book “Surprise! It’s Just Pee!” – a children’s book about raising a cat. Photo by Bailey Jo Josie/Sound Publishing

Volunteers enjoy the sunshine at Renton’s 2024 Juneteenth Celebration. Photo by Bailey Jo Josie/Sound Publishing

Volunteers enjoy the sunshine at Renton’s 2024 Juneteenth Celebration. Photo by Bailey Jo Josie/Sound Publishing

Local musician Elijah The Great performs at Renton’s 2024 Juneteenth Celebration. Photo by Bailey Jo Josie/Sound Publishing

Local musician Elijah The Great performs at Renton’s 2024 Juneteenth Celebration. Photo by Bailey Jo Josie/Sound Publishing