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Celebrate Juneteenth!

‘Freedom Day’ in Portland and beyond

6/13/2017, 2:11 p.m.
Free celebrations for Juneteenth, also called Freedom Day, are held Saturday, June 17 in Portland and Vancouver, and on Monday, ...
The Juneteenth Oregon Parade is a Portland tradition. The annual event returns this Saturday, June 17, starting with the parade at 10:45 a.m. and then a day long festival at the Legacy Emanuel Field at North Russell and Williams Avenue. Mark Washington

Free celebrations for Juneteenth, also called Freedom Day, are held Saturday, June 17 in Portland and Vancouver, and on Monday, June 19 at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland.

The Juneteenth Oregon Celebration, founded 45 years ago by the late and beloved community leader Clara Peoples, will start Saturday at 10:45 a.m. with a parade from the Safeway parking lot on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, then proceeding down MLK to Russell Avenue, and ending at the Legacy Emanuel Field at North Williams. Festivities will then continue until 6 p.m. with live music, art, food, and a children’s play area. For more information, visit juneteenthor.com

A free Juneteenth BBQ hosted by the Nat Turner Project will take place Saturday, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the c3:initiative, a community and arts gallery space at 7326 N. Chicago and North Denver Avenue. Dub’s St. Johns will provide the food and there will be music, poetry, face painting, and an art gallery to celebrate African American culture.

The Vancouver branch of the NAACP hosts a Juneteenth themed event, “Education is Empowerment” on Saturday at Foster Hall on the Clark College campus. The family friendly event will include a pie contest, spoken word, Hip Hop, African Dance, food and more.

On Monday, June 19, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival will host its 19th annual Juneteenth celebration on the Courtyard Stage in Ashland, celebrating with spoken word, dance, hip hop, art and theatre. For the full line up, visit osfashland.org.

Juneteenth commemorates when U.S. soldiers brought word of President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation to Galveston, Texas, two years after it was issued. It is the oldest celebration of the end of slavery in the United States.