Delaware County Holds Second Annual Juneteenth Celebration in Rose Tree Park

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Released: June 22, 2023

Delaware County was proud to host the County’s second annual Juneteenth Celebration in Rose Tree Park on June 19. Hundreds of residents joined the County team for a day of celebration, history, music, food, performances, shopping, and more --- all in honor and recognition of Juneteenth.

The celebration featured performances by The Chester Cultural Arts and Technology Center, students from William Penn School District, the 3rd Regiment United States Colored Troops, and a headline performance by Philly Gumbo. The celebration also showcased some of Delaware County’s local business owners selling artwork, jewelry, crafts, food trucks, and resources from local organizations across the county.

The County was proud to recognize Lila Martel from Strath Haven High School for being selected as the winner of the County’s Juneteenth art competition. Her artwork was featured on the County’s official promotional items, including a banner that was displayed during the celebration.

“We created this annual event to be a celebration for ALL residents- young and old, for families, for those who know of the rich history of Juneteenth, and for those who may not,” said Delaware County Council Chair Dr. Monica Taylor. “Juneteenth serves as a day for residents to celebrate the ending of slavery in the United States and an opportunity for our entire community to learn more about African American history, which will contribute to a deeper understanding of the experiences that have shaped African Americans and our country.”

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced the end of both the Civil War and slavery. General Granger’s announcement put into effect the Emancipation Proclamation, issued by President Abraham Lincoln, which had legally freed slaves on January 1, 1863, almost 2½ years earlier. Many slaves, particularly in Texas and other southwestern states were not informed of the Emancipation Proclamation until General Granger’s announcement.

The holiday received its name by combining June and 19. The day is also sometimes called “Juneteenth Independence Day,” “Freedom Day” or “Emancipation Day.”

“The second annual Juneteenth Festival at Rose Tree Park was truly a day to remember,” said Delaware County Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer Lauren Footman. “The event provided an opportunity to reflect on our collective history and celebrate the rich culture of the African Diaspora, which is an outward manifestation of the goals of Delaware County's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office."

Thank you to the talented local performers and vendors, the County’s Juneteenth Celebration Planning Committee, including Delaware County Parks and Recreation Director Marc Manfre and his team, the County’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer Lauren Footman, and Delaware County Chamber of Commerce President Trish McFarland and her team who worked to bring creative vendors and delicious food trucks to our celebration.

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Delaware County, presently consisting of over 184 square miles divided into forty-nine municipalities is the oldest settled section of Pennsylvania.

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