NWA Juneteenth Celebration

The oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.


Juneteenth LogoCelebrating Juneteenth in Northwest Arkansas

The NWA Juneteenth Planning Committee invites the community, friends and family to celebrate our annual Northwest Arkansas Juneteenth Celebrations, which commemorate the anniversary of African American emancipation.

In past years, the event featured an old-fashioned cookout, live performances, activities and playground for kids, free health fair with screenings including medical and dental from the NWA Community Clinic, musical entertainment and more.

Visit juneteenth.uark.edu, the committee's official celebration website, to learn how you can participate.


What is Juneteenth?

It was on June 19th, 1865, that Major General Gordon Granger and the Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and the enslaved were now free. This was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new executive order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.

Juneteenth today celebrates African American freedom and achievement while encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all cultures. As it takes on a more national, symbolic, and even global perspective, the events of 1865 in Texas are not forgotten, for all of the roots tie back to this fertile soil from which a national day of pride is growing. For more information visit: juneteenth.com