Games, music mark Juneteenth freedom celebration at Museum

Crossroads-area residents are invited to celebrate Juneteenth at the Museum of the Coastal Bend on Saturday, June 20 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The celebration will include short presentations, a sermon, and choral songs.  There will also be games and activities for the community.

Juneteenth marks the day Texas slaves first learned they’d been freed. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln on Jan. 1, 1863. However, it was not until June 19, 1865, when the news reached Galveston and spread to the rest of the state. This year is the 150th anniversary of that date.

Community leaders will present a 10:30 a.m. program including remarks by Harold Cade and Vanessa Hicks-Callaway. Rev. Fred Hobbs will lead the Mt. Nebo Male Chorus in song. Beginning at 1 p.m., faculty from Victoria College and the University of Houston-Victoria will give short talks about the Emancipation Proclamation and the history of Juneteenth celebrations.

“We’re honored to have local leaders speaking at this event,” says Isabel Van Dyke, the museum’s curator of education & public programs. “It’s a great way to recognize the continuing importance of Juneteenth — as both a historical moment and also a living, changing tradition that is meaningful today.”

Outside on the museum’s lawn, visitors can play games such as croquet, hopscotch, and beanbag toss. A calligraphy station will give visitors a chance to use quill pens to copy out lines from the Emancipation Proclamation and other historic documents relating to freedom.

To learn more about Juneteenth or other programs at the museum, contact Isabel Van Dyke at (361) 582-2559 or

The Museum of the Coastal Bend is located on Victoria College’s Main Campus, 2200 E. Red River St. in Victoria. Regular museum hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday. Admission is pay-what-you-want. For more information, including a calendar of events, visit

Photo caption: Isabel Van Dyke, Museum of the Coastal Bend’s curator of education & public programs, demonstrates a calligraphy station where visitors can use quill pens to copy out lines from the Emancipation Proclamation and other historic documents relating to freedom. The station will be one of several activities at the Museum’s Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 20.

Published: Thursday, 11 June 2015

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