Your Local News | Allentown, Bethlehem & Easton
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

SPONSORED: Nonprofit commemorates Juneteenth with weeklong celebration

hands breaking chains with text that says 1865 Juneteenth
Juneteenth Lehigh Valley
Juneteenth Lehigh Valley
Juneteenth Lehigh Valley logo

BETHLEHEM, Pa — On June 19, 1865 – two years after the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 - the last enslaved African Americans were emancipated in Galveston, Texas. Juneteenth, now a federal holiday, is a celebration and acknowledgment of the end of slavery in the United States.

 Over the past several years many regions and cities across the country have begun commemorating Juneteenth. Our region’s Juneteenth Lehigh Valley (JLV), a non-profit organization, exists to acknowledge the end of slavery in the United States, to celebrate the fortitude of African Americans who endured the ills of slavery, and to educate the general population specifically younger cohorts about the significance of this day.

Now in its third year, the JLV has expanded from a one-day event to a week-long celebration across Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton. This year’s events were designed to educate and promote Juneteenth’s authentic American history and that of African American emancipation, black liberation, and to support black businesses and performing artists.

 This year’s week-long schedule includes flag-raising ceremonies, a special dining experience, black authors’ program, black hair, beauty, and fashion expo, “Juneteenth Day” with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, a signature music festival on the SteelStacks Campus, and to end the week, a “Juneteenth Parade”.

 JLV’s two signature events are the music festival and the Juneteenth Parade. The Music Festival will take place on Saturday, June 17th at SteelStacks Campus in Bethlehem featuring various genres of music (R&B, Soul, Jazz, and Reggae) with a special tribute to 50 years of Hip Hop, numerous product and information vendors and ethnic food trucks, a magic show, and storytelling from the Lehigh Valley Reads program. On Monday, June 19th from 12:00-3:00 p.m., the Juneteenth Parade will take place in Easton on Northampton St. with performances in the Center Square. Performers include Easton High School Pep Band, BEEP-New Orleans Style Brass Band, West Powelton Drumline and Steppers. The parade will also include appearances from the Iron Pigs Mascot, Just Born’s Peepsmobile, Buffalo Soldiers motorcycle group, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, fraternities and sororities, area children’s groups, and dance troupes.

For more information visit our website here.