At least two events are set this weekend to celebrate and commemorate Juneteenth, sometimes known as the United States’ Second Independence Day.
The first, a parade and community party, will be in Crossett, while the second, a mud ride, will be in the Hamburg area.
The Crossett Juneteenth Celebration will be June 19.
The celebration will begin at 1 p.m. with parade line-up at the Boys and Girls Club of Ashley County at the former T.W. Daniels School located at 203 W. Sixth Ave. The parade will begin at 1:30 p.m., traveling up Sixth Avenue, turning north on Main Street and then west onto Third Avenue.
The parade will travel until it crosses Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and will end at the E.C. Crossett Youth Center.
Fun, food and games sponsored by the Crossett Juneteenth Committee will follow at the Youth Center at 2 p.m. For more information, contact 870-415-0723 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Williams and Hawkins Juneteenth Mud Ryde will also be June 19. The $10 per person event will open gates at 11 a.m., and the ride will pull out at 2 p.m.
The mud ride base will be at 1042 Ashley 95 near Hamburg.
Juneteenth is a celebration of the day news of emancipation reached some of the last outposts where slavery was practiced in the United States and the former Confederate States of America.
Originally known as Freedom Day, Juneteenth began as a celebration in Galveston, Texas, to mark the anniversary of when federal troops announced freedom from slavery on June 19, 1865.
Since then, the celebration has officially spread to 47 states and the District of Columbia, and is unofficially celebrated in all 50 states.
In Arkansas, Juneteenth has been an official memorial day since 2005, when the legislature set the third Saturday in June as “Juneteenth Independence Day” with Act 2101, which says the day is “to commemorate the end of over 200 years of slavery in the United States of America and to demonstrate racial reconciliation and healing from the legacy of slavery.”