AUSTIN (KXAN) — County and city employees hosted an annual tradition in central Austin today commemorating the announcement of slavery’s abolition in Texas.
The 25th Annual Travis County “Texas Emancipation Day,” also known as Juneteenth, took place at the street level parking garage on the northwest corner of 8th and Lavaca. Members of the public were able to participate in booths featuring arts, crafts, fellowship and music.
Ron Davis, Travis County Precinct 1 Commission, said past generations of his family were slaves in Travis County. He said learning about his family’s plight made him realize the importance of Juneteenth not only for him, but for all Americans.
“I feel very excited about this day, and I want you and everyone else to celebrate this day with us because this is a diverse country and we are all in this thing together.”
Davis said he believed many people are not aware of the importance of Juneteenth. He said that is a reason for Juneteenth to continue.
“We’re not going to let that die,” Davis said. “Juneteenth resides right in my heart, and it should reside in everyone’s heart that we are part of a whole. We want to make sure this is not forgotten.”
More Juneteenth events are scheduled for the coming days including the 6th Annual Round Rock Juneteenth Rhythm and Ribs Festival starting Friday at Old Settlers Park – Lakeview Pavilion and the Juneteenth Historical Parade this Saturday at Comal Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard. A complete list of events can be found here.