Delaware County Holds Third Annual Juneteenth Celebration in Rose Tree Park

 Home / Departments / Public Relations Releases / Delaware County Holds Third Annual Juneteenth Celebration in Rose Tree Park

Released: June 20, 2024

Delaware County Holds Third Annual Juneteenth Celebration in Rose Tree Park

Delaware County Council Chair Dr. Monica Taylor, Vice Chair Richard Womack, Council Member Christine Reuther, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer, and County Controller Joanne Phillips were honored to join United States Senator Bob Casey, Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon, and numerous elected officials including Senator Tim Kearney, State Representatives Heather Boyd and Lisa Borowski, and Media Borough Mayor Robert McMahon at Rose Tree Park on June 19 for the County’s annual Juneteenth Celebration.

The celebration, now in its third year, featured a rich tapestry of history, music, food, performances, and the raising of the Juneteenth flag. This event commemorated the Juneteenth holiday, marking the day in 1865 when the last enslaved individuals in the U.S. were freed, highlighting the enduring significance and heritage of Juneteenth.

“Juneteenth calls upon us to confront these challenges head-on, to stand together in solidarity, and to work towards a future where every person is treated with dignity and respect,” said Council Chair Taylor, emphasizing the importance of Juneteenth as both a celebration and a call to action and reflecting on the day's significance. “Let us take this day not only to celebrate how far we have come but also to reaffirm our commitment to justice and equality for all. Let us honor the legacy of those who came before us by continuing to strive for a society where every person has the opportunity to thrive and succeed.”

Vice Chair Womack shared heartfelt insights about the enduring struggle for justice, reflecting on his personal connection to the civil rights movement through his father.

“I am the son of a civil rights leader so I learned early on that we must always celebrate with purpose, keeping our eyes on the larger goal. I often think back to the late nights listening to my father and Jessie Jackson and others, between their laughter and jokes, planning, strategizing, and plotting, and continuing that march to freedom that our ancestors started.”

Recording artist and songwriter Ashli Rice kicked off the festivities with a beautiful performance of the National Anthem and Charnee Washington, a member of the County’s HR team, followed with a soulful rendition of the Black National Anthem. James Hayes, Budget Director for Delaware County, provided a poignant reading on Juneteenth's history.

Maliha Simmons, crowned “Little Miss Juneteenth PA” last year, also spoke about the significance of Juneteenth. The Miss Juneteenth USA Pageant is an educational and scholarship-driven program focusing on community service, education, and cultural awareness.

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. His announcement enforced 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, and is also sometimes called “Juneteenth Independence Day,” “Freedom Day,” or “Emancipation Day.”

Juneteenth serves as a vital educational tool, shedding light on American history, particularly the era of slavery, emancipation, and the ongoing civil rights struggles. It offers a moment to reflect on past injustices and their lasting impact, fostering crucial discussions about equality, justice, and the relentless pursuit of civil rights.

Contact Us

  •   201 West Front Street,
         Media, PA 19063
  •   8:30AM - 4:30PM
           Monday - Friday
  •   610-891-4000

About Delaware County

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

Read more