Save the date for Alamogordo’s Juneteenth Celebration 2024, Washington Park


Save the date for Alamogordo’s Juneteenth celebration 2024 to be hosted in Washington Park, June 22 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm to celebrate a day of liberation, a true gem of joy in American history.

Alamogordo's annual Juneteenth Celebration will observe this 159 year old holiday with dance, music, educational talks, information booths, interactive games for kids AND adults, your favorite Alamogordo food trucks, raffle prizes!

What is Juneteenth? 

Juneteenth (June 19) is the one of the oldest known commemorations related to the abolition of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth National Independence Day wassigned into law as a national holiday on June 17, 2021. The word “Juneteenth” is a Black English contraction, or portmanteau, of the month “June” and the date “Nineteenth.” Juneteenth celebrates the date of June 19, 1865, when enslaved people of African descent located in Galveston, Texas, finally learned of their freedom from the slavery system in the United States.

Freedom was granted through the Emancipation Proclamation signed on January 1, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln. Texas was the farthest of the Confederate states, and slaveholders there made no attempt to free the enslaved African Americans they held in bondage. This meant that President Lincoln’s proclamation was unenforceable without military intervention, which eventually came nearly 2.5 years later.

From 1865 forward, the day has held special meaning for people of African descent in the United States. 

Juneteenth continues to be celebrated in cities with Black populations through a series of parades, family reunions, speeches, and consuming of specific foods with a red color including barbeque, watermelon (an African fruit), and “red soda water” (primarily strawberry soda).

The use of the color red in ceremonies is a practice that enslaved West Africans brought to the United States. Contemporary food items that maintain this cultural connection include kola nut tea and hibiscus tea, also known as bissap in the Caribbean or jamaica (ha-MY-kah) in Latin America; large numbers of kidnapped and enslaved West Africans were sent to both areas.. Strawberry soda is the contemporary replacement of these teas in US Juneteenth celebrations. Juneteenth is an important date on the timeline of slavery history in the United States.

The history of the celebration in Alamogordo dates to the pandemic.

Everett Brown told the Alamogordo Daily News in an article last year that when he moved to Alamogordo from Washington in 2007, he had no idea what Juneteenth meant, let alone what it was.

When I moved here in '07, I had no idea what Juneteenth was, didn’t hear it, never heard about it and I was in the nation's capitol so you would think it was hot out there, but it wasn’t,” Brown said.

Brown said he grew up in the south where he was certain it was something not prevalent to the area.

“It probably wasn’t until about 2012 when I started hearing about it and actually reading about it, then when COVID happened some friends and myself decided to start with a potluck out in the park for Juneteenth and it we grew it from there,” Brown said.

Brown said the goal is not simply to celebrate the day and the history but to inform people and youth that don’t know.

For 2024 an evolving celebration: 

The event and celebration has grown each and every year with this year looking to be the largest event yet. Planned for the day are food vendors, dancers, singers and performers, several nonprofits and various organizations will be on site from LULAC Council 8105 with Joanne Vullo and her team to dance, poetry, music and more. A diverse cross-section representing the diversity of Alamogordo will be at Washington Park.

Come on out 10 am to 2 pm, June 22, 2024, and celebrate history and culture. See you there!

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