San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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June 16th, 2008
City prepares for three-day Juneteenth celebration

From the city of San Marcos

San Marcos community organizations will celebrate Juneteenth June 19-21 with barbecue and cobbler cook-offs, games for all ages, music, a car show and a downtown procession to commemorate the 143rd anniversary of the day that Texas slaves learned they were free in 1865.

“We invite all San Marcos citizens to celebrate Juneteenth at the festivities taking place Thursday, June 19 though Saturday, June 21,” city council member Chris Jones said. Jones has created a web site at where participants can sign up for the parade, car show and cook-off competitions.

“You can download a parade registration form, BBQ Cook-off registration and BBQ Cook-off rules and regulations,” Jones said. “This is a great opportunity to celebrate a holiday that finds its origin deeply rooted in Texas history.”

On June 19, 1865, the Union General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston to inform inhabitants of the Civil War’s end two months earlier. Two and a half years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, Granger’s General Order Number 3 finally freed the last 250,000 slaves whose bondage, due to the minimal Union presence in the region, had been essentially unaffected by Lincoln’s efforts.

“June 19th—which was quickly shortened to “Juneteenth” among celebrants—has become the African-American addendum to the nation’s Independence Day,” Jones said. “As Juneteenth jubilees remind us, the Emancipation Proclamation did not bring about emancipation. The Texas Juneteenth celebration is the nation’s oldest and most significant commemoration of the final freeing of the slaves.”

Thursday, June 19

Hosted By the Dunbar Heritage Association

Juneteenth BBQ Plate Sell

11 a.m. to sellout | $6 dollars a plate

  • 11 a.m. — Kids Game in the Park (Moonwalk, face painting, cakewalk)
  • noon — Juneteenth Peach Cobbler Cook-off
  • noon — 2008 Baller Bowl Madden Tournament
  • 2 p.m. — Bingo
  • 4:30 p.m. — Juneteenth 3 on 3 basketball tournament double elimination
  • 6 p.m. — Juneteenth Domino Tournament

all events held at Dunbar Park & Community Center

Friday, June 20

Hosted By the Juneteenth Charity Cook-Off Committee

  • 7 p.m. Music in the park and Fajita Cook-off
  • 8:30 p.m. Beans Cook-off

(Cook-Off events will be held in the City Park behind the Parks & Recreation building)

Saturday June 21

  • 11 a.m. — Juneteenth Procession (Will start at San Marcos Playscape)
  • noon-1:30 p.m. — Juneteenth Car Show
  • noon — Chicken Cook-Off
  • 1:30 p.m. — Baby Back Ribs Cook-Off
  • 3 p.m. — Cook’s Choice Cook-Off
  • 3:30 p.m. — Fruit Cobbler BBQ Pit Cook-Off
  • 4 p.m. — Brisket Cook-Off
  • 6 p.m. — Juneteenth Cake Auction

Hosted by the Juneteenth Cake Auction Committee
Cake Auction will be held at the San Marcos Activity Center.

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