The cities of Fort Walton Beach and Crestview will host events to highlight Juneteenth. Juneteenth is a federal holiday which commemorates the event that took place in 1865 near Galveston where United States Soldiers freed the last enslaved people in the rebellious states post e American Civil War. Annual celebrations of Juneteenth began in Texas in 1866 and continue around the country to this day.
Juneteenth became a federal holiday in 2021, when President Joe Biden issued a proclamation for federal agencies to recognize the holiday. “Juneteenth is a day of weight and power,” President Biden said in the proclamation. He continued,
“But it is a day that also reminds us of our incredible capacity to heal, hope, and emerge from our darkest moments with purpose and resolve.
As I said on the 100th Anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, great nations don’t ignore the most painful chapters of their past. Great nations confront them. We come to terms with them.
On Juneteenth, we recommit ourselves to the work of equity, equality, and justice. And, we celebrate the centuries of struggle, courage, and hope that have 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.”
Included in the days event:
Additionally, the city will sponsor a guided walk through on history 11am-1pm.
A bouncy house and face painting will be on site for kids to enjoy as well. The event takes place at the Fort Walton Beach Landing, 139 Brooks Street Southeast, Fort Walton Beach, Florida.