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Henrico to present Juneteenth Celebration on June 19 at Dorey Park

Music, historical displays, fireworks will commemorate end of slavery in U.S.

Henrico County will celebrate Juneteenth — and the end of slavery in the United States — on Saturday, June 19, with a day of family fun and entertainment at Dorey Park, including live music, historical exhibits and interpreters, games and fireworks.

The inaugural Henrico County Juneteenth Celebration will honor the events of June 19, 1865, when a Union general delivered word to slaves in Texas that they had been freed under President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. Juneteenth also is known as Emancipation Day and Black Independence Day.

The Dorey Park event, presented by the Division of Recreation & Parks, is free and open to the public, with entertainment and activities scheduled from 1 to 10 p.m.

From 1 to 5 p.m., the event will feature Black-owned businesses in a vendor fair; games for children, including hoop rolling, lawn bowling, sack races and inflatable slides; roaming historical interpreters; and a car club expo by Urban Wranglers RVA and Urban Jeepz New England.

Throughout the day, the Juneteenth Celebration will include food trucks and musical, dance and theatrical performances on the park’s stage. Featured performances by Bak N Da Day and Plunky & Oneness are set for 3 and 7:15 p.m., respectively. The festivities will culminate with a fireworks finale at 9 p.m.

“Henrico County is proud to invite the community to come together as we celebrate Juneteenth and spotlight its significance in American history,” said Neil Luther, director of Recreation & Parks. “Our celebration of Juneteenth joins Red, White and Lights – our award-winning celebration of the Fourth of July – as signature community events that help make Henrico such a wonderful place to live. We hope residents and their families will use these special events to build strong traditions and lasting memories.”

Details on the Juneteenth Celebration, including tips on what to bring and directions for entering the park, are online.

In addition to the event at Dorey Park, located at 2999 Darbytown Road, Recreation & Parks is presenting two free outdoor movies and two neighborhood block parties for Juneteenth. A complete list of events and information on Juneteenth’s history and traditions are online.

The Juneteenth Celebration is being held in accordance with state guidelines for COVID-19, which encourage, but do not mandate, mask wearing and physical distancing and no longer place restrictions on public gatherings. As a precaution, additional hand-washing stations will be available at Dorey Park.

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