FRESNO, CA--Starting with a parade from Fresno and C streets, Fresno citizens gathered in the FoodMaxx parking lot in honor of Juneteenth, which symbolizes the official freedom of slaves throughout worldwide.
The annual tradition, according to www.Juneteenth.com, is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.
Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free, two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863.
From age 3 to 73, Fresno African-Americans and participating citizens marched approximately two and half miles to the Juneteenth celebration held at Bud Gaston Middle School under soaring temperatures of 100 degrees or more to symbolize the inclement weather slaves of all ages, endured barefoot on their march to freedom.
Excerpts from 2017 Fresno Juneteenth will be featured on the ONME Network starting Friday, June 23rd listed under "special events" in the TV guide from 4:00 PM-6:00 PM & 4:00 AM-6:00 AM daily.