NORRISTOWN, PA – Montgomery County and community organizations are hosting more than 20 upcoming events over the next week to celebrate Juneteenth, which marks the end of slavery in the U.S. Although the Emancipation Proclamation took effect in 1863, it was not until June 19, 1865 that enslaved people in Texas were finally freed. A full listing of events can be found at www.montcopa.org/Juneteenth.
On Friday, June 17 at 10 a.m., Montgomery County will hold its first Juneteenth flag raising ceremony at the Montgomery County Courthouse, on the corner of Swede and Airy Streets in Norristown. The event will feature remarks from the Montgomery County Commissioners and other local officials, a reading of Emancipation Proclamation, and recognition of the winners of the 2022 Art and Prose of Freedom Contest. This event is open to the public.
The Peter Wentz Farmstead in Lansdale will offer special tours on Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19 focusing on the lives of the enslaved people owned by the Wentz family and how their stories connect to the larger history of slavery in early Pennsylvania. Learn about Jack, a freedom seeker owned by Peter Wentz who escaped twice from the Farmstead. Hear the stories of Hannah Till and William Lee, enslaved people who were brought here with General George Washington during the Philadelphia Campaign. Immerse yourself in the 18th century as you discover the complicated and rarely told history of slavery in Pennsylvania. The Peter Wentz Farmstead is a National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom site. Tours will run every half hour throughout the weekend and space is limited. For tour times and more information, visit https://pwfjuneteenthtours.eventbrite.com to reserve a timed ticket.
Pottsgrove Manor in Pottstown invites the public for a Juneteenth Book Club and lecture on Saturday, June 18, 2022 to honor the history of the black experience in America. At 10 a.m., join Professor Emeritus from Shippensburg University, Robert Hewitt, PhD, to engage with the history of black labor in Edward E. Baptist’s work, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of America and then share with fellow readers in a guided discussion of the book. Registration is required for the book club. Following book club, all members of the public are invited to Dr. Hewitt’s lecture on the importance of incorporating Black History into our shared narrative. This lecture, called “Together in History,” will begin at 1 p.m. Deepen your understanding of the past and how the labor of exploited people is a part of our shared historic narrative. No registration is required to attend the lecture.
In addition, the following community events are planned to commemorate Juneteenth:
- Saturday, June 11: Juneteenth Celebration on the Main Line, 12 - 5 p.m., Mazie B Hall Park, Wayne
- Wednesday, June 15: Charles Blockson Exhibit Opening, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m., Centre Theater, Norristown
- Thursday, June 16: YWCA Tri-County Pottstown 26th Annual Tribute to Exceptional Women and Girls, 5 - 8 p.m., Pottstown
- Friday, June 17: Jazzy Juneteenth, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m., North Wales Area Library
- Saturday, June 18: Lansdale Black Business Association Juneteenth Event, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Memorial Park, Lansdale
- Saturday, June 18: Delta Sigma Theta Valley Forge Alumni Wreath Laying at the Patriots of African Descent Monument, 10 - 11 a.m., Joseph Plumb Martin Trail, King of Prussia
- Saturday, June 18: Salem Baptist Church Freedom Day: A Juneteenth Celebration, 12 - 6 p.m., Salem Baptist Church, Abington
- Saturday, June 18: Suburban Baptist Association Women's Auxiliary Juneteenth Freedom Day, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., Lukens Park Pavilion, Horsham
- Saturday, June 18: Juneteenth Celebration on the Main Line, 2 - 6 p.m., Vernon Young Playground, Ardmore
- Saturday, June 18 & Sunday, 19: Eastern Montgomery County Juneteenth Celebration 2022 (Multiple Events including block parties, a gospel concert and more!), Willow Grove
- Sunday, June 19: NAACP Norristown Family Fun Juneteenth Event, 1 - 4 p.m., Elmwood Park Zoo, Norristown
- Sunday, June 19: Norristown “Jubilee” Festival, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Dekalb & Main Streets, Norristown
- Sunday, June 19: 2022 Phoenixville Juneteenth Celebration, 2 - 6 p.m., 200 Block of Bridge Street in Phoenixville
- Wednesday, June 22: The Bamboo Man and the Drinking Gourd Presented By Opera North, Inc., 4 - 5 p.m., Upper Dublin Library, Fort Washington
For the latest information about Montgomery County Juneteenth events please visit www.montcopa.org/Juneteenth. The site will be updated regularly with new information.
Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19, has been an official Montgomery County holiday since 2020. This year, Montgomery County will observe the holiday on Monday, June 20, 2022.
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