JUNE 19 CELEBRATIONS: East Hartford to Host Inaugural June 19 Family Celebration | Free time

The City of East Hartford will be holding its first June 19 celebration on Saturday, June 18 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the City Green, 1047 Main Street. The rain date is Sunday June 19 at the same time.

Juneteenth (June 19) is a national holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. This marks the day in 1865 when a Union Army general arrived in Texas with 2,000 soldiers and informed more than 250,000 enslaved American blacks in Texas that slavery had been abolished at the end of civil war. This was 2½ years after Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation declared that “all persons held as slaves…shall henceforth be free.”

Juneteenth, officially known as Juneteenth National Independence Day, is also known as Jubilee Day, Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, and Black Independence Day.

The Juneteenth Fest is a family-friendly community event that offers fun activities for kids and adults. There will be a variety of vendors, food, entertainment, a bouncy house, face painting, storytelling and more.

The city will host East Hartford-based artist Alvin Carter Jr.; musician and drummer Grace Wright; dancer, storyteller and costume designer Tammy Denease; and storyteller and historian Iddi Saaka.

The Hebron Coalition for Diversity and Equity (CoDE) will be sponsoring the first June 19 celebration in Hebron on Saturday, June 18, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free entry.

Educational, interactive and fun activities will be offered for children, youth and adults, in and around the historic Peters House, 150 East St.

During the event, attendees will learn about Hebron’s story of helping free an enslaved couple (Cesar and Lowis Peters), on the road to freedom for African Americans, and the ongoing work to s ensure that everyone is able to enjoy the benefits of living and working in equitable, vibrant and diverse communities.

Entertainment will include EvaE Peart and Nia Arts, an African drumming and dancing troupe; Nekita Waller, singer, songwriter, and former Connecticut State troubadour; and Proud Drum, Drill and Dance Corp of Hartford.

Activities for children will include a storytelling walk with the book “Juneteenth for Mazie”, written and illustrated by Floyd Cooper; making quilt squares; treasure hunt; face painting; and more. Adults can take guided tours of the Peters House and learn more about getting involved in social justice activities.

Additionally, the African-American section of the Wall Street Cemetery was cleared. There will be a brief ceremony at the site from 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

The Amistad Center for Arts and Culture at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art will partner with the City of Hartford to celebrate Juneteenth at Bushnell Park.

Juneteenth in the Park will take place on Sunday, June 19 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Free entry.

The day will feature live music, artwork from local artists, food trucks, crafts, vendors, and fun for kids of all ages.

The New Britain Museum of American Art will hold its 21st annual June 19 celebration from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 18.

Covering the galleries and museum grounds at 56 Lexington St. in New Britain, the celebration will include outdoor drumming, dance and poetry performances.

Inside, visit the special “30 Americans” exhibit, which features works by many of the most important African-American artists of the past three decades, as well as the museum’s permanent collection, and participate in hands-on art activities and to treasure hunts. Also shop at local black-owned businesses and grab a bite to eat from regional food vendors.

There will be a special “30 Americans” tour at 2 p.m. Free entry.

The Hill-Stead Museum, 35 Mountain Road, Farmington, will hold its June 19 celebration on Saturday, June 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

It will be a day of discovery and celebration featuring local Black artists, organizations and businesses.

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