This Saturday, residents of Robstown will be gathering at Portela Park for the Sixth Annual Juneteenth Celebration, commemorating the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation to Texans.
Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers led by Major General Gordon Granger landed at Galveston with the news that the Civil War had ended and that the enslaved were now free.
The event will open at 2 p.m., and will begin with comments from local dignitaries, remarks on African American history and the singing of the Negro National Anthem.
At 3 p.m., a free catered meal will be served, and cultural festivities and music will begin at 4:30 p.m. The event will last through the evening and will end at 8 p.m.
Winners of this year's Juneteenth Scholarship will also be presented at the event.
Sybil Tipton, one of the organizers of the event, said it will be a fun time for everyone.
"We've got gospel groups, we've got jazz bands, we have interpretive dance, vendors," Tipton said. "We just want to have a good, fun day."
There will be games for the children, including a hula hoop contest, a dance contest, three-point shooting contest and relay races. Pony rides and moon jump will also be available.
Tipton said some residents may feel the event is only for the African American community, but it is intended to be a multi-cultural event for everyone in the area.
"This is a celebration that celebrates the end of slavery, but it's a multi-cultural celebration for anybody and everybody," Tipton said. "This is just a fun, family day."
Vendors and exhibitors for the event are still needed and attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets for seating. The deadline for registering as a vendor or exhibitor is June 19.
For more information about the Juneteenth Celebration, or to register as a vendor or exhibitor, contact Tipton at (361) 387-3995.