Manchester Commemorates Juneteenth
During late 2020, the Town of Manchester announced that Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the end of slavery, would officially be celebrated as a town holiday. Come celebrate with your friends, family and neighbors and spend your weekend at our slate of celebratory events!
• 6:00 p.m. Kick-off procession/ Starts at Cheney Hall arrives at Leisure Labs at Mahoney Rec Center
• 6:45 p.m. Flag raising and ceremonial presentations (Leisure Labs at Mahoney Rec Center)
• 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Luminaries exhibit / people gallery open to the public (Leisure Labs at Mahoney Rec Center)
From June 18-20, the Town of Manchester’s Department of Leisure, Family and Recreation, in collaboration with several community partners, will host the inaugural Juneteenth Freedom Day Commemoration. The weekend will include mural unveilings, an art opening, a black-owned food & vendor market, a three-on-three youth basketball tournament, family activities, live music and much more.
Why do we commemorate Juneteenth?
Juneteenth, refers to the nineteen day of June.
- President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 freeing all enslaved people in the confederate states.
- Two and a half years later, on June 19, 1865 over 250,000 enslaved people in Galveston, Texas were informed by federal troops they were free, and no longer the property of “slaveholders”.
- The continuing struggle of African American/Black people for full citizenship, inclusion and equity has continued through-out the history of the United States, and striving for full attainment of these rights remains a priority at this time.
Why is the Pan-African Flag Used on Juneteenth?
The Pan-African flag was created in 1920 to represent people of the African Diaspora and to symbolize black liberation in the United States. As flags symbolize the union of governance, people, and territory, this flag was created to give Black people in America and the world over a symbol that unifies the Diaspora.
- Red stands for blood — both the blood shed by Africans who died in their fight for liberation, and the shared blood of the African people all over the world.
- Black represents, black people and the color of skin.
- Green is a symbol of growth and the natural fertility of Africa.
Saturday Event Details
Stage Schedule of Events
- Opening ceremony
- Proclamation from Mayor Moran
- “Glory” performed by Chavon Campbell and Robert Hill
- Mural dedication from Rise Up
- Poet Laureate Ryan Parker
- Dr. Diane Clare-Kearney
- Dr. Alhaji Conteh
- Buffalo Soldier Historian Robert Harris
- Dance Hour ft Hartford Proud Marching Band
- Live Band Performance ft Tony Harrington and Touch
- Black Excellence Awards ft Ryan Parker
- Open Mic ft James Blake
- Closing remarks ft Ashley Okwuazi
- Thomas’ Smokey Pit Stop
- Kraving Ice Cream
- Pops’ Cuisine
- The Wright Slice of Cheesecake
- Kona Ice
Black-Owned Vendor Market:
- A Clay Zone
- AJC Creations
- Apple Falls Prints
- Sassy Black Yarns
- Sisters’ Soap Box
- JurnFern Art
- By Big Tree
- Her Beadfulness
- Fallon & Farren
- Light Encounters
- Woodyard Images
- The Key Bookstore
- Charmed Culture
- Author Robert Harris
- Nubian Locitz
- True Onyx Naturals
- Hippie Love
- African-American & Black Affairs Council (AABAC)