MEDFORD, Ore — Downtown Medford will be the host to the first ever Juneteenth celebration this Saturday.
“We’re really looking to make this a really inclusive Juneteenth celebration,” Jessica Freedman, member of BASE told NBC5. ” “This will be one that will bring in a lot of people not only from all of the corners of the black community, but also across the Rogue Valley.”
Freedman says there will numerous activities for both adults and children Saturday. Black-owned vendors, musical artists and guest speakers will also be in attendance.
“We want everyone to come out, we expect everyone come out,” Freedman said. “I think this is something not to be celebrated by just black people, it should be celebrated by all people.”
Juneteenth commemorates the official end to slavery on June 19th 1865. US General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas to read General Orders No. 3. Granger informed people of the emancipation proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln two years prior – freeing slaves. The last enslaved people were in Texas.
President Joe Biden officially recognized Juneteenth as the 11th federal holiday in the United States during a signing Thursday.
The Juneteenth event will be start at 11:00 a.m. and will go until 5:00 p.m.