Juneteenth is one of the USA's newest official holidays, but the celebration has been around for over a century. Sometimes called "America's second Independence Day," Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States.

When is Sioux Falls' Juneteenth Celebration?

Juneteenth will be observed in Sioux Falls at the annual Sioux Falls Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 17, 2023, from 11:00 AM until 5:00 PM at 8th and Railroad in downtown Sioux Falls. It is a free event open to all. Organizers say there will be live music, kids' activities, food trucks, vendors, and a lot more. (more info).

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On January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect. Over two years later, on June 19, 1865, Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas with word that the enslaved people in the US were free and the Civil War was over. The marking of that day in 1865 has grown into a time to memorialize the struggle of the US's formerly enslaved people.

The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance. - JUNETEENTH.com


Juneteenth Sioux Falls
Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

In the years after Emancipation, as the formerly enslaved people moved around the country seeking lost family and opportunities, stories about celebrations on that day in Texas went with them. As time went on, those stories and celebrations evolved into Juneteenth.

The Juneteenth celebration was a time for reassuring each other, for praying and for gathering remaining family members. Juneteenth continued to be highly revered in Texas decades later, with many former slaves and descendants making an annual pilgrimage back to Galveston on this date. JUNETEENTH.com

The holiday was little known outside of African-American communities for the first half of the 20th Century.

Juneteenth's profile was raised during the 1960s Civil Rights fight. In 1980 Texas made Juneteenth a state holiday.

Since then, marking June 19, Juneteenth, as an American day of celebration and remembrance has spread across the country.

Is Juneteenth a State Holiday in South Dakota?

In June 2021 Juneteenth was declared a federal holiday in the United States. South Dakota was the last state to recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday in February 2022.

15 Free Things to Do with Kids in Sioux Falls

"What are we gonna do with these kids?" A question every parent askes, especially in the summer. And it's always better if what you do with the kids is free.

Sioux Falls is a small city full of big fun for all ages, and a lot of it is free. We have world-class parks, museums, live music and so much more. Here's a handy list of 15 free things for you and the kids to do in Sioux Falls.

LOOK: 50 essential civil rights speeches

Many of the speakers had a lifetime commitment to human rights, but one tried to silence an activist lobbying for voting rights, before later signing off on major civil rights legislation. Several fought for freedom for more than one oppressed group.

Keep reading to discover 50 essential civil rights speeches.


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