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Experience Galveston's historic connection with Juneteenth annually on June 19.
When you head to Galveston this summer, you’ll be coming home to where it all began as the island hosts festivities to celebrate Juneteenth – a holiday that originated in this historic beach town.
The much-anticipated “Absolute Equality” mural, which illustrates the journey of Black Americans out of slavery into freedom, was dedicated during a ceremony on Juneteenth in Galveston in 2021. You can visit this mural anytime at 2201 Strand St.
The 5,000 square-foot mural, created by Houston-based Reginald C. Adams, was painted on the side of the Old Galveston Square building, located at 22nd and Strand in downtown Galveston. The massive art installation is an initiative of the Juneteenth Legacy Project, which aims to raise awareness about Juneteenth and contribute to a growing push to make Juneteenth a national holiday.
Juneteenth, or June 19, marks the day in 1865 that Union Army Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger issued General Order No. 3 in Galveston, which announced the freedom of more than 250,000 enslaved Black people in the state of Texas – one of the last groups of slaves to be freed in the United States.
The Galveston Island Juneteenth Festival is held in the parking field at 2701 Ave L adjacent to Kermit Courville Stadium. The festival features music performances, food and vendors. Juneteenth fireworks highlight this annual celebration.
The Galveston Juneteenth parade will take place from 26th and Ball streets and ending at 41st and Ball streets. The parade will feature floats, marching bands, performers and other entertainment.
The Reedy Chapel A.M.E. Church Emancipation March reenacts the first celebration of emancipation that took place in Galveston on January 1, 1866. A diverse group of over 800 men, women and children took part in the historic processional.
The Galveston Juneteenth Coalition hosts the Annual Al Edwards Celebration with a reading of General Order No. 3 at the historic Ashton Villa – the location of the island’s official Juneteenth holiday monument. The event is free to the public.
In Galveston, you can explore African American history in living color thanks to a new interactive tour app. The tour, found here, allows visitors to take a self-guided journey to learn about the island’s many historically black institutions and monuments celebrating black accomplishments.