Wiscasset residents will be commemorating their first Juneteenth on Wiscasset’s Common, Sunday, June 19, from 1-3 p.m., with an informal BYO picnic, music and storytelling.

Juneteenth began in 1866, a year after federal troops marched into Galveston, Texas, announcing that all enslaved people were free. This was more than two years after Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that slaves in Confederate states would be free. The day became a Jubilee Day of celebration by newly freed African Americans in Texas and, with migration, was embraced in other states.

In Maine, Juneteenth became an official state holiday in 2021, the same year the U.S. designated the day, June 19, a federal holiday. Both holidays are being celebrated in 2022 for the first time.

Everyone is welcome to come to the Common and celebrate. Wiscasset Juneteenth attendees are encouraged to bring stories about heritage, pivotal moments, personal history, lost loved ones, new births, etc.

For more information, call (617) 974-7720 or email to [email protected]

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