Breckenridge Texan

Breckenridge celebrates Juneteenth in newly-renamed Booker T. Washington Park

Breckenridge celebrates Juneteenth in newly-renamed Booker T. Washington Park
June 21
07:17 2021

By Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

Last week, an idea started circulating around Breckenridge, and it wasn’t long before a Juneteenth celebration was planned for Saturday, June 19, in the newly-renamed Booker T. Washington Park. It was the first time in many years that an organized Juneteenth celebration was held in Breckenridge.

Breckenridge City Commissioner Rob Durham said drinks were provided by donations from First National Bank, Breckenridge Interbank and Pit Stop BBQ. Community members made and provided the food.

As the plan came together, word spread beyond the city limits, and people came from Abilene, Mineral Wells, Dallas, Fort Worth, Irving, Grapevine and Charleston, South Carolina, Durham said.

The organizers are already planning next year’s Juneteenth celebration. Click here to see more of Rob Durham’s photos from this year’s event.

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the date that slaves in Texas were finally informed that President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which had gone into effect two and a half years earlier, on Jan. 1, 1863, freeing the slaves in the rebellious southern states, which had seceded from the United States to form the Confederacy.

On Thursday, June 17, President Joe Biden signed legislation establishing Juneteenth as a new federal holiday. The bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday was led by two Texas legislators, Republican U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and Democrat U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Houston.

During the Juneteenth celebration in Booker T. Washington Park on Saturday, community members gathered to play games, eat lunch and visit with each other. Pictured, clockwise from left, are Forrest McGee, Artis Cavanaugh, Ricky Sanders, B.J. Roberson and Vernon Wilson. (Photo by Rob Durham)

People of all ages gathered Saturday for Breckenridge’s Juneteenth celebration, and the three oldest in attendance were, from left, Patricia Sanders, Audrey Brown and Freddie Sue King. (Photo by Rob Durham)

Cutline, top photo: Food, fun and fellowship were all part of the Juneteenth celebration in Breckenridge’s Booker T. Washington Park on Saturday. This was the first year in many years that the community has had a Juneteenth event. Click here to see a Photo Gallery from the event. (Photo by Rob Durham)


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