Music, historical displays, fireworks will commemorate African American freedom in US
Henrico County will celebrate Juneteenth – also known as “Emancipation Day” or “Day of Freedom” – on Saturday, June 18, with a day of family fun and entertainment at Dorey Park, including live performances, a vendor fair, historical and educational exhibits, a kids’ zone and fireworks.
The annual Henrico County Juneteenth Celebration will honor the events of June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers delivered word to enslaved people in Galveston, Texas that they had been freed under President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of Jan. 1, 1863. Some of those who had been enslaved and their descendants returned to Galveston annually on June 19 to celebrate their “Day of Freedom.” A federal holiday since 2021 and now a Henrico County holiday, Juneteenth National Independence Day is considered the United States’ second Independence Day.
“I am looking forward to bringing the community to the Varina District to once again celebrate what Juneteenth means to each of us,” Varina District Supervisor Tyrone E. Nelson said.
The Dorey Park event, presented by the Division of Recreation & Parks, is free and open to the public, with entertainment and activities scheduled from 4 to 10 p.m.
From 4 to 8 p.m., the event will feature Black-owned businesses in a vendor fair; a kids’ zone; stories of historical freedom fighters; and a Jeep club expo by Urban Wranglers RVA LLC, Urban Jeepz NE, All The Way Up Jeeperz LLC and Members Only Jeep Association.
Throughout the event, the Juneteenth Celebration will include food trucks and musical, dance and theatrical performances on the stage. The Brencore Allstars Band will perform a “Tribute to the Music of Motown” at 8 p.m. The festivities will culminate with a fireworks finale at 9:15 p.m.
“Juneteenth represents a seminal moment in our nation’s history – one that is worthy of reflection, understanding and celebration,” said Patrick W. Nalley, director of Recreation & Parks. “Just as we do for Independence Day and with other signature events, Henrico County is pleased to present a fun, family-friendly event that will be inspiring, uplifting and memorable for our entire community.”
Details on the Juneteenth Celebration, including tips on what to bring and directions for entering the park, are online.