Although Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation -- the document declaring that all slaves be freed -- on January 1, 1863, the news didn't reach a still-confederate Texas until June of 1865. That's when the slaves there celebrated, an occasion that sparked the observance of "Juneteenth."
This year's Juneteenth Music Festival, in Denver's Five Points neighborhood, will include a concert featuring funk legends the Ohio Players, booths with local vendors, role-playing history lessons, and twenty other music acts.
In the past, Denver has had one of the most attended Juneteenth celebrations in the country, yet participation has fallen off in recent years, prompting a newer push to stretch across generations, especially in the African-American community. "Many people don't know that the Juneteenth Music Festival has continued to happen every year, which is why we want to make this year bigger and better," says co-organizer Miguel Taylor. "Five Points is historically known as the 'Harlem of the West,' so the neighborhood is already rich with African-American history. Juneteenth will only continue to enhance that."
Juneteenth runs from 9.a.m. to 9 p.m. today and tomorrow on Welton between 24th and 28th streets. Visit www.juneteenthmusicfestival.com.
Sat., June 16, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., June 17, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., 2012