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Peekskill Celebrates 150th Anniversary Of Juneteenth

Residents enjoying a concert at a past Juneteenth celebration.
Residents enjoying a concert at a past Juneteenth celebration. Photo Credit: Facebook

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. – Peekskill will celebrate Juneteenth – the oldest known celebration of slavery's end – with its fifth annual Juneteenth parade Saturday, June 20.

The parade will start at 2 p,m. and will be preceded by a short ceremony at Park Street AME Zion Church at 1:30 p.m.

The parade will kick off on Park Street in front of the church, and end at the corner of South and Smith Streets. Starting at 11 a.m. at Peekskill’s Riverfront Green Park, there will be a variety of food vendors, as well as crafts, clothing and artifacts representative of African, African-American, Caribbean and American culture. From 4-8 p.m., there will be an extensive entertainment lineup of gospel, jazz, hip-hop music, dance and poetry, which will be performed on the Peekskill Show Mobile stage.

Soul Fusion, a local Peekskill R & B band, will provide the evening’s dance music, ranging from old school classics to contemporary hits.

Admission to the park is free.

Underground Railroad Tours offered by LaFern Joseph will depart from The Fern Tree at 13 S. Division St. in downtown Peekskill.

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas, with news that the war had ended and that all slaves were now free. Juneteenth, also known as “Freedom Day” or “Emancipation Day,” is recognized as a state holiday or state holiday observance in 43 states as well as the District of Columbia.

This year’s parade committee nominated three trailblazers as their grand marshals: Gloria Pinkney, Jerry Pinkney and James Taylor.

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