On June 19, 1865, federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to bring news that the Civil War had ended and to ensure all enslaved people were freed. As the news spread, so too did the celebrations – Juneteenth, also known as Jubilee Day, Freedom Day, or Emancipation Day, was born. Today, people across the country celebrate with barbecues, parades, art, music, and more. As I wrote this article, Congress voted to make Juneteenth the 12th U.S. federal holiday – amazing!
Issaquah Highlands will host its first Juneteenth celebration with our Global Grub and Groove series, an outdoor cultural music performance featuring food trucks and art with free admission to all. We hope the event will be so popular we can combine future efforts with the city of Issaquah and make it an annual tradition.
While the pandemic put a damper on some community event experiences offered in the past, it has afforded us space and time to reflect on how we make our events more inclusive. For our Juneteenth event, we look forward to offering a free community ride-share van to and from the venue* and a scaled-down, in-person, outdoor event to keep our community safe as we transition out of the pandemic. We hope you’ll join us in the way that makes you feel most comfortable.
Join us as we celebrate Juneteenth; listen to the invaluable contribution of Black artistry to music through jazz and blues from Michael Powers, enjoy authentic Texas barbecue from the C. Davis BBQ food truck (Juneteenth celebrations started in Texas in 1866), and celebrate the kickoff to our nation’s celebration of freedom for all.
*If you are an Issaquah Highlands resident who would like to attend this event but are unable to get to the Village Green on your own due to limited transportation options, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (425) 507-1107 to request transportation.
Kimberly Kapustein is the president of the Highlands Council Board of Trustees and a Dahlia Park resident.