BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Although the Emancipation Proclamation officially freed slaves as of January 1, 1863, many remained unaware for nearly two and a half years.
On June 19, 1865, Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas with news of the abolition of slavery.
Now, 151 years later, African Americans around the country celebrate the day as 'Juneteenth'. On June 18, the annual celebration will continue on the Coast.
A collaborative effort, the public is invited to attend a free Juneteenth event from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. at John Henry Beck Park, located at 671 Division St. There will be shopping, games, contests, and music for the community to enjoy.
The Juneteenth Celebration Essay Contest will be open to any Biloxi area student; including those who are home schooled. Click here to view and download the application, which is due by June 13.
Vendors wishing to set up a booth must submit a $100 fee and vendor application by June 18.
For more information, visit the East Biloxi Juneteenth Celebration Facebook page.