Celebrating Juneteenth with Free Park Day
The Park District is celebrating Juneteenth this year with a Free Park Day in recognition of the date when enslaved Black Americans in Texas were notified of their freedom, two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. While Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to U.S. General Ulysses S. Grant in April 1865, fighting continued in Texas for nearly two months. On June 2, 1865, Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith finally surrendered. A few weeks later, on June 19, U.S. troops landed in Galveston, Texas, confirming the end of the Civil War and slavery in Texas. Today, the abolition of slavery and emancipation of Black Americans in Texas is celebrated on June 19 annually as Juneteenth.
The Park District is committed to enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, and making our parks and agency more welcoming and reflective of the communities we serve. Park District fees waived on Juneteenth include park entrance, parking, dogs, horses, boat launching, and fishing. However, the fee waiver does not apply to swimming, camping, reservable picnic facilities (due to capacity limits), District concessions, and state fees for fishing licenses, and watercraft inspections for invasive mussels.
The Park District is celebrating Juneteenth with several naturalist-led programs, including a Hike of Celebration and Reflection at Thurgood Marshall Regional Park - Home of the Port Chicago 50.
For more information about Juneteenth, visit www.ebparks.org/Juneteenth.