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Did you know Juneteenth is the newest federal holiday? Click here to learn about the significance of the special day and some of the celebrations being held to mark the occasion in Fresno this month.

Juneteenth (short for June Nineteenth) is the newest federal holiday. It was just signed into law last year, marking a pivotal moment in American history. The holiday commemorates the end of slavery in the United States as a whole and celebrates African American heritage and culture.

This holiday represents the moment when the Emancipation Proclamation reached every city and state in America, including those where people were still enslaved. It was on June 19, 1865, that the Emancipation Proclamation was recognized in Texas, more than two and a half years after it had been enacted. Union soldiers arrived in Galveston to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people were freed.

While the federal holiday is new, celebrations are not. For decades, festivities have been held with parades, picnics, speeches, music, and family gatherings. Advance Peace Fresno, the gun violence reduction program administered by Fresno EOC, will host a Juneteenth Beat Battle at Vision View, located at 4974 E. Clinton Avenue, on Friday, June 17, starting at 12 noon. There will be praise dancers, street dancers, free food, face painting, and a comedy show. Roger Brown of Advance Peace Fresno says the Juneteenth celebration, which falls on Father’s Day weekend, will be a great time for the community to come together. “This event will honor the fathers lost to street violence. We want to build relationships and new connections to make our neighborhoods safer.”

Fresno EOC is also a proud sponsor of this year’s Fresno Juneteenth Festival, June 16-20.

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