Juneteenth celebration scheduled at cemetery
A celebration recognizing Juneteenth will be held in Bandera at the Bertha Tryon/ Hendrick Arnold Black Cemetery on Monday, June 19, at 11:00 am.
The cemetery is located on old Medina Highway right off of Highway 16.
Traditionally a Texas holiday, this year marks the second anniversary of Juneteenth becoming a federal holiday and the second annual Bandera celebration.
Officially known as Juneteenth National Independence Day, it has also been called Jubilee Day, Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, and Black Independence Day.
It commemorates the emancipation of slaves after the Civil War. The day was recognized as a federal holiday on June 17, 2021, when President Joseph Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law, becoming the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was adopted in 1983.
Originating in Galveston, Texas, it has been celebrated annually on June 19 in various parts of the United States since 1865. The day commemorates the date of June 19, 1865, when Union Army General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and announced General Order No. 3 proclaiming that all enslaved people were now free in Texas, the last state of the Confederacy with institutional slavery.
This year’s celebration in Bandera is being hosted by the Bandera County Historical Commission, the Frontier Times Museum and the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic.
A wreath will be placed at the cemetery’s gate and there will be a traditional reading of the Emancipation Proclamation.
A popular addition from last year’s celebration, the San Antonio Mass Gospel Choir, under the direction of Dr. James Wilcox, will again join the festivities.
Attendees will be asked to participate in placing a red rose on each marked grave in the cemetery.
After the ceremony, a community picnic will be set up for participants to enjoy on the cemetery grounds, much like the early Juneteenth celebrations that were held throughout Texas. Attendees are encouraged to bring a dessert.
This event is free and open to all who would like to commemorate the day.
For more information, call the Frontier Times Museum at 830-796-3864.