Juneteeth Celebration

Attendees of last year's Missouri City Juneteenth parade look on during the event. There are multiple events in Missouri City and around the county this weekend to commemorate the occasion. (Staff file photo)

As Juneteenth approaches, there are multiple events happening around Fort Bend County to commemorate the occasion.

Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, celebrates the day of June 19, 1865, when Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and announced that Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which was signed two years earlier, had freed enslaved people.

Kendleton

Former Congressman Pete Olson is organizing a tour of two local historic cemeteries as part of Kendleton’s Juneteenth Freedom Celebration at Bates Allen Park, 630 Charlie Roberts Ln., on June 18

There will be four tours of both the Newman Chapel and Oak Hill cemeteries, according to a news release, which will begin at the burial site of Texas State Legislator Benjamin Franklin Williams in the Newman Chapel Cemetery. In addition to being the first African American from Fort Bend to be elected to the Texas House of Representatives, Williams was the first African American to be an ordained Methodist minister in Texas, as well as the first United States Postmaster General in Kendleton according to the release.

That will be followed by a short walk to the Oak Hill Cemetery by crossing through the tunnel cut in the brush. The tour is meant to honor Williams and others buried there while raising awareness for needed upkeep. The 30-minute tours will run at 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., and 11:30 a.m. according to the release.

For more information about the walking tours community members can reach out to Olson at 281-216-0842 or via email at pgointex@hotmail.com.

Missouri City

There are multiple Juneteenth events happening in Missouri City, which just last year became one of a growing list of Texas communities to adopt Juneteenth as a city holiday. The city, which is 39.1 percent African American according to World Population Review, has a long history of celebrating the holiday.

One such event will be the Missouri City Juneteenth Celebration Foundation kicking off the holiday with a family night out at Hunter’s Glen Park, 1340 Independence Blvd., on June 17 beginning at 5 p.m. That will be followed on June 18 with a concert in the park at 6 p.m. and the “One Mile of Smiles” parade at 7 p.m. For more information or to buy tickets, go to missouricityjuneteenthcelebration.com/.

Another celebration will be the Juneteenth Jubiliee, which will take place on June 18 from 6-9 p.m. at the Amphitheater at Club Sienna, 9600 Scanlan Trace. Admission is free, and the celebration is open to the public according to the event page. There will be live music from Reggie Jamz and Swagg Boiz as well as gourmet food trucks. For the kids, there will be video games along with face painting, balloon art, kiddie rides, and more.

For more information on the Juneteenth Jubiliee, visit the event page at siennatx.com/juneteenth-jubilee.

Needville

There will be a Juneteenth Zydeco, R&B and Western concert and fundraiser for A Place for Dreamers, which offers animal-assisted therapy for children emotional and behavioral issues, on June 18 at Harvest Park, 3100 Violet St.

The event will begin at noon, and the concerts will begin at 7 p.m. with performances from artists such as Step Rideau and the Zydeco Outlaws. There will also be attractions such as mechanical bull rides, food tickets, raffle tickets, a photo booth, vendors, and more according to the event page.

Tickets for the event cost $25 per person.

For more information or to purchase tickets to the festival, go to eventbrite.com/e/juneteenth-zydeco-rb-western-concertfestival-fundraiser-mental-health-tickets.

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