Juneteenth National Freedom Day, which commemorates the day when black slaves in Florida and other Southern states were notified of the Emancipation Proclamation, will be recognized in a two-day celebration Friday and Saturday.
Throughout the country, Juneteenth is observed on different dates because enforcement of the slaves' liberation would come only after the defeat of local Confederate forces. June 19, 1865, was the date the message reached Galveston, Texas. The holiday began in Texas but has spread to other states.
The Juneteenth Freedom Day Breakfast, with guest speaker state Sen. James Hargrett, D-Tampa, will be at 7:30 a.m. Friday at the Enoch Davis Center, 1111 18th St. S, St. Petersburg. Tickets are $7.
The celebration will continue with a gospel concert at 7 p.m. Friday at Bethel Community Baptist Church, 1045 16th St. S, St. Petersburg. Gospel singers and groups from the Tampa Bay area will perform.
A Family Fun Day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday will feature music, food, games for children and African-American vendors. The event will be on the grounds of the Campbell Park Recreation Center, 601 14th St. S, St. Petersburg.
No coolers or alcoholic beverages are allowed on the park grounds. The concert and Family Fun Day are free and open to the public.
The festivities are sponsored by the St. Petersburg Times, the city of St. Petersburg, radio stations WRXB-AM 1590 and WTMP-AM 1150 and the African-American Arts Council of Greater Tampa Bay. For breakfast tickets or information, call 893-7134 or 323-7004.