The Juneteenth Celebration of Freedom, hosted by Emma Franklin, Gladys Bryant and Kimberly Jones-Williams, will be this weekend at Cecil Holman Park and the Bennie Houston Community Center.
    There will be food, music and activities for children.
    The celebration begins at 5 p.m. Friday in the park with music from DJ Double R Entertainment. There will be free hotdogs for children, and adults can eat hotdogs for $1 each.
    The festivities resume at 10 a.m. Saturday with basketball skills training and continue throughout the day.
    “We will celebrating this weekend and visiting with friends and family from all over,” the Juneteenth Facebook page states. “Children will be running and playing throughout the park, old classmates will be reminiscing, and vendors will be offering items of interest.
    Bring your friends and coolers and lawn chairs.”
     Attractions include Hip Hop Dancers, a Ferris wheel for children, a 75-foot train ride for children, a huge water slide, a 50-foot obstacle course, basketball skills training, line dance practice and plenty of food and drinks.
    Food offerings include pizza and chicken, smoked turkey legs, funnel cakes, shaved ice, smoked pork chops and Hobby Heart Creations deserts.    
    Juneteenth marks the date of June 19, 1865, when Gen. Gordon Granger of the Union Army arrived in Galveston to demand that the slaves there be set free. Texas was one of the last states where slavery endured, the Juneteenth website states.
    Although President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, African Americans remained in bondage in Texas.
     When Gen. Granger arrived in Texas, he read General Order No. 3 to Galveston residents:
    “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.”