The Kissimmee Juneteenth Festival, a community-wide celebration of freedom brought to you by Experience Kissimmee, returns to the Kissimmee Civic Center on Saturday, June 15th, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Celebrate Black American culture  with electrifying live performances by JP and the Elements, Coll’e Kharis, the Agila Jazz Combo, and Garth Robertson. Enjoy delectable food, explore the KUA Kids Power Zone, and browse a variety of crafts and exhibits from local vendors.

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is a holiday officially observed on June 19th each year in the United States. It commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans and celebrates the end of slavery in the United States. Originating in Texas in 1865, Juneteenth has evolved into a symbol of resilience, hope, and unity, reminding us of the ongoing struggle for equality and justice. This important milestone in American history is now recognized and celebrated nationwide, fostering conversations about racial progress and education.

Juneteenth finds its roots in Galveston, Texas, where on June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger arrived with the news that the Civil War had ended, and enslaved individuals were now free. This proclamation, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation, marked a transformative moment for Black Americans, signifying their freedom and emancipation from the chains of slavery.

Juneteenth was first recognized as a federal holiday in 2021, when President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law. The day has since become an occasion for reflection and remembrance, honoring the sacrifices and resilience of those who endured the horrors of slavery, while also highlighting the progress that has been made in the fight for equality.

By embracing the spirit of Juneteenth, we can honor the past, and collectively strive for a society where freedom, justice, and equality are not only celebrated but deeply embedded in our shared values.

Join the City of Kissimmee this Saturday, June 15th, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m for Kissimmee’s Juneteenth Festival blockparty!