Celebrating Juneteenth: Honoring Freedom and History in Marietta

Celebrating Juneteenth: Honoring Freedom and History in Marietta

Marietta is gearing up for a significant celebration this June. As the community prepares to honor Juneteenth, residents and visitors alike are invited to join in commemorating this pivotal moment in American history. With a series of events that highlight the importance of freedom, equality, and cultural heritage. Marietta’s Juneteenth celebrations promise to be both educational and inspiring. 

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19th, is the oldest known commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, Juneteenth marks the day when Union soldiers led by Major General Gordon Granger landed in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War had ended and all enslaved people were free. This momentous event occurred two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. The celebration of June 19th, known as “Juneteenth,” has grown over the years, becoming a significant event that honors African-American freedom while promoting self-development and respect for all cultures.

Juneteenth Celebrations in Marietta

In Marietta, the Juneteenth celebrations are filled with various activities that engage the community in meaningful ways. 

Cultural Festival

The Cobb County Branch of the NAACP, in conjunction with the City of Marietta, is hosting the 21st annual Juneteenth Weekend Celebration in Marietta Square from June 14-16, 2024. This weekend kicks off on Friday from 7-11 pm with the All White Party, where everyone is asked to dress in all white attire. The party features the sounds of DJ Boogie, setting a festive tone for the days ahead.

The heart of the celebration is the Cultural Festival on Saturday from 10 am-7 pm. This festival features an array of over 100 food and merchandise vendors, a health fair, children’s area, and a rich lineup of entertainment. This family-friendly event is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the cultural heritage and achievements of the African-American community.

On Sunday, Father’s Day, the celebration culminates with “A Salute to Fathers” from 2-6 pm, paying tribute to the trailblazers within the community with a Praise and Picnic in the Park for Dads. This event includes great music, Father’s Day recognition and a token, commemorative photo.

Admission to the festival is free, making it accessible to everyone.

Juneteenth Freedom Day at the William Root House

Another notable event is Juneteenth Freedom Day at the William Root House on Saturday, June 15th, from 10 am-4 pm. This day-long program commemorates the emancipation of the last remaining enslaved African Americans in June 1865. At the Root House Museum, an 1830s log cabin is used to help tell the stories of the enslaved individuals who labored at the Root House property and would have lived in a similar cabin. Visitors can explore the history and significance of Juneteenth through a guided museum tour, crafts, living history demonstrations, storytelling, and a genealogy workshop.

Thanks to the generous support from the Georgia Humanities Council, admission to this program is free.

Celebrate Freedom Juneteenth Cemetery Walking Tour

On Tuesday, June 18th, join the Marietta History Center for the Celebrate Freedom Juneteenth Cemetery Walking Tour at 6 pm. This tour, led by Christa McCay, M.H.P., takes you through the Marietta City Cemetery, shedding light on the stories of African Americans buried there. Learn about those who were enslaved and those who became prominent leaders in the fight for equality and civil rights. The cost for non-members is $15, while MHC members can join for $7.

Juneteenth in Marietta is not just a celebration but a powerful reminder of the progress made for freedom and equality. It is a time to reflect on history, celebrate growth, and continue working towards a future where all cultures are respected and valued. Join Marietta in June to honor this pivotal moment in American history and enjoy a weekend filled with culture, education, and community spirit.