2021 Juneteenth Celebrations in Cary

Cary, NC — Celebrated annually, Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger read federal orders in Galveston, Texas, that all previously enslaved people in the state were free.

Although slaves had been formally freed almost two and a half years earlier and the American Civil War had come to an end earlier in the year, news and enforcement of the proclamation had been slow and inconsistent in remote areas of the still-growing United States.

The date has since served as a cause for celebration, remembrance, and traditions across the country.

The Cary Town Council officially proclaimed Juneteenth as a paid Town holiday moving forward and will be showing its support by way of a colorful display at the Cary Arts Center and an afternoon of programs and performances this weekend in Bond Park. Here are the details.


Light Display in Downtown Cary

Cary Arts Center | Friday, June 18 – Sunday, June 20

In observance of Juneteenth becoming an official Town holiday, the columns of the Cary Art Center will be lit in red, yellow, and green to honor the heritage and meaning of the day.

These colors, in addition to black, all carry significant meaning on this day. Red represents the noble blood that unites all people of African ancestry, the color black is for the people, and green is for the rich land of Africa, and yellow which joins these colors on the traditional flag of Ethiopia, which has influenced the flags of many Pan-African organizations.

“Celebrate Freedom” Event at Bond Park

1 – 2:30 PM | Saturday, June 19 | Sertoma Amphitheater at Bond Park

The Town of Cary will celebrate Juneteenth physically this year as opposed to its virtual efforts to make the day special in 2020. This Saturday, June 19, the Sertoma Amphitheatre at Bond Park will transform into a grounds for singing, drumming, dancing and coming together to learn more about the significance and meaning that is held by many each year on Juneteenth. The lineup on the stage begins at 1 PM on the following schedule:

  • 1 PM — Welcome Procession by the Magic of African Rhythm Drummers
  • 1:10 PM — Welcome Address & Proclamation with Cary Town Council and Darrel Stover
  • 1:20 PM — Lift Every Voice and Sing by Al Strong Quintet
  • 1:30 PM — Significance of Juneteenth and Emancipation with Dr. Reginald Hildebrand
  • 1:45 PM — Freedom Interpretation with Carolyn Evans and Tom Hancock
  • 1:55 PM — Gospel selection with Lynette Barber
  • 2 PM — Freedom Come to North Carolina with Michelle Lanier
  • 2:10 PM — Paul Laurence Dunbar’s The Colored Soldiers with Mitch Capel
  • 2:25 PM — Collective Close in Song with Jasme Kelly

For additional info and a schedule of performers visit the Town’s Juneteenth events page.

Story by staff reports. Photos courtesy of the Town of Cary.

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